Pepper’s miraculous rescue: How a Colorado dog survived 10 days in the snow

A family’s nightmare

On February 22, 2024, a family in Blue River, Colorado, experienced every pet owner’s worst nightmare: their beloved dog, Pepper, a 6-year-old Bernese and black lab mix, went missing from their home. They had no idea where she was, how she got out, or if she was still alive. They feared the worst, as the area was covered in deep snow and freezing temperatures.

A community’s effort

The family contacted Summit Lost Pet Rescue, a local organization that helps reunite lost pets with their owners. The rescue team sprang into action, following their standard search protocols: they set up a scent station on the front porch, installed cameras, posted on social media, hung neon signs, and recruited volunteers to search the neighborhood and nearby trails. They also asked neighbors to check their garages, decks, and tree wells for any signs of Pepper.

Colorado dog survived 10 days

Despite their efforts, there were no sightings of Pepper for 10 days. The rescue team suspected that she was either stuck somewhere close by, or had been picked up and taken away from Blue River. They did not give up hope, though, and continued to look for clues.

A volunteer’s discovery

On March 4, 2024, a breakthrough came when Kevin, a volunteer from Summit Lost Pet Rescue, and his dog, Finn, decided to search along a creek that had heavy snow buildup. They often used their dogs as “magnet dogs”, as missing pets tend to trust other dogs more than humans. As they walked along the creek, Finn suddenly alerted Kevin to something under a fallen tree.

It was Pepper. She was trapped in a narrow section of the creek, surrounded by steep snowbanks and drifts. She was only 714 feet from her house, but she could not get out. She was alive, but weak and dehydrated.

A happy reunion

Kevin immediately called the family and the rescue team. They rushed to the scene and managed to pull Pepper out of the snow. She was overjoyed to see her owners, who hugged her and thanked Kevin and the rescue team. They took her to a vet, who checked her and gave her fluids and food. She was doing well, considering what she had been through. She had survived 10 days in the snow, with no food or water, and no shelter.

The family and the rescue team were amazed by Pepper’s resilience and luck. They were also grateful for the community’s support and cooperation. They shared their story on social media, hoping to inspire others to never lose hope and to always help each other. They said that Pepper’s miraculous rescue was a miracle, and a testament to the power of love.

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