TAMPA, Fla.— It’s not every day a missing dog makes the news, but now one of the Bay area’s premier animal hospitals is asking for the public’s help after one of their patients, a 4-year-old Boxer undergoing cancer treatment, managed to escape the facility early Wednesday.
A massive search now continues with hospital staff canvassing an area east of Dale Mabry Highway near where the dog was last spotted.
A sign on the front door of the Blue Pearl Partners displays Shelby’s picture and asked for the public’s help in searching.
The dog somehow managed to escape from her kennel, making her way through not just one or two… but three separate doors at the Busch Boulevard facility.
“She’s been getting radiation treatments with us and somehow or another a kennel wasn’t properly latched,” said Blue Pearl spokeswoman Carrie O’Brion. “We’re still looking into what happened, but she did manage to push her way out a door.”
O’Brion says Shelby’s owners were immediately notified. The animal hospital then sent a team of employees out searching for the dog, first spotting her near the Dale Mabry overpass over Busch, then several more times throughout the morning.
“The main thing is its very hot, so we’re worried about her and possible dehydration,” said O'Brion. “The sooner we can find her, the better.”
A team of 20 employees, including the company’s CEO, have been searching by car and on foot through Wednesday afternoon’s heat. By 7 p.m., many on the team seemed overheated and exhausted but were determined to continue searching.
“If it was my dog I’d be out there and want other people to be out there,” said one employee assisting in the search.
Blue Pearl is sharing Shelby’s picture on social media. They’ve also reached out to local businesses and Hillsborough County Animal Services to be on the lookout. Now they’re even offering a $1,000 reward for the dog’s safe return.
“We just want to make sure she gets home safely and is reunited with the family who loves her.”