Dog survives two weeks in wilds near Granby
Sky-Hi News Intern
Kate and Bill Dussault have been reunited with their adopted dog, Jax, after he ran off into the wilderness of Doe Creek Trailhead near Lake Granby on July 10.
Jax was missing for two weeks, almost to the hour, and was captured and returned home on July 24 by Mike and Kitty Evans. The Dussaults offer their warmest thanks to all those people who helped search for Jax.
Kate Dussault grew up in Grand County and attended Middle Park High School. She met her husband, Bill Dussault, in 1997 and they now live part time in Colorado and Seattle, Wash.
“We enjoy being up there,” Kate said, “It’s home as well.”
Kate and Bill got Jax from a family in Denver, and he was strictly an in-house, in-city dog at the time. Jax is a 19-pound black poodle and is 6 years old. The couple brought him up to Grand County on Friday, July 10, and went on a hike with family friends when Jax bolted into the woods.
All the next day, Kate and Bill searched for Jax. He was sighted by a cyclist about 1.5 miles from the trailhead, but the cyclist was unable to get close enough to catch him. However, the community support and effort into finding Jax truly warmed Kate and Bill’s hearts.
“Animal Control was exceptional,” Kate recalled. “They provided traps and came that Saturday morning to help, even when they were closed. MaryAnne ran the trap lines herself.”
People saw the signs posted by the Dussaults and actively searched for Jax on their own hikes. Some people came up specifically to look for Jax. One couple brought their bloodhound to try and track Jax, and Mike Evans carried and checked the traps regularly. Evans even took his own dogs out in search of the runaway poodle.
Evans constructed a homemade trap out of plywood that was completely enclosed and about 18 inches by 18 inches by 26 inches. Using a pulley system, the trap door was held up by a stick in the back of the trap, and if the stick was touched, it would trigger the trap and drop the door. The bait used in all the traps included dog food and rotisserie chicken strips and grease, a potent and effective lure for lost dogs.
Around 5 p.m. on Friday, July 24, Kate and Bill received a call from Evans saying that Jax had been captured and was safe and sound after two weeks of surviving on his own in the forest.
Jax didn’t seem too dehydrated, but he didn’t have proper food so he was very hungry. At first, he was vomiting but the vet gave the all clear and now he is recovering under the watchful eyes of Kate and Bill.
“When we first got him, he was super skittish,” Kate said, “But now he’s a completely different dog. He’s super warm and friendly.”
Mike Evans declined Kate and Bill’s reward offer, so they donated the money to Grand County Pet Pals. At a fundraiser held at Ace Hardware, many people gathered to meet Jax and hear about his escapade in the Arapaho National Forest.
“We want to give our biggest, heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped,” Kate said on the family’s behalf . “It was phenomenal and greatly appreciated, so thank you.”
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