After being missing for four days, dogs Kai and Lucy, returned to their Nanoose home on Feb. 23. Their owner, Nina Zurita, suspects the animal’s were stolen from her yard on Feb. 19. - aarf.ca

Number of missing dogs has Nanoose Bay woman concerned

Calls for neighbours to be ‘more vigilant’ watching out for each other

A Nanoose Bay woman is relieved now that her two dogs have returned home after they went missing for four days, but the experience has left her feeling paranoid.

Nina Zurita volunteers with several animal rescue organizations on Vancouver Island and has rescued 62 dogs to date. She currently owns five dogs, two of which, Lucy and Kai, went missing from her yard on Feb. 19. They returned on Feb. 23.

Zurita said she suspects the animals were taken by someone because her gate was left open, something she’s never done.

“It was about 9 or 10 a.m. (on Feb. 19) that we discovered they were missing,” Zurita said. “We have a doggie door so they go in and out as they please and usually they go out about 6 or 7 a.m. [Thieves] could have opened the gate and took them. It would have been easy because the two dogs that [went missing] are the ones that don’t bark at people.”

Zurita said immediately following the disappearance of Lucy and Kai she reported them missing with several animal rescues, made extensive posts on social media and put up about 100 missing posters offering a $2,000 reward for the dogs’ return.

RELATED: How lost pets get found in Parksville Qualicum Beach

“I was driving through the trails for about six to seven hours a day while my boyfriend would drive around town looking for them. There was no sightings of them so there was no way they were lost,” Zurita said.

Also adding to Zurita’s suspicion that Lucy and Kai were taken is the fact they returned home with no visible signs of harm, they weren’t covered in dirt, she said, and they didn’t look malnourished.

“They came back like somebody had them. They were a little traumatized I would imagine but they weren’t in survival mode,” Zurita said. “Most dogs that go missing over a day go into survival mode.”

Zurita said since the disappearance of Lucy and Kai she’s installed a security system at her home with multiple cameras and is working on getting a fingerprint code lock for her gate.

“It’s terrible what something like this can do to a person. It makes you paranoid and sick. It’s traumatizing for everyone in this household,” she said.

As for advice to pet owners, Zurita believes communities need to come together and look out for their neighbours’ belongings.

“I would say nowadays you can’t leave anything valuable outside including pets because I don’t think people care that you have an emotional connection to your pet, I think it’s just an item of value that you leave outside,” she said. “I think people have to be more vigilant. I think for communities we have to have more neighbourhood watches and talk to our neighbours and keep a look out for each other as a community.”

Zurita added that she believes there has been an influx of pets being stolen from the Parksville,Qualicum, Errington and Nanoose areas.

Olivia Kenton’s two huskies, Tigger and Kody, disappeared from her yard in Errington on Dec. 24.

“Potentially stolen and dumped due to social media pressure or could have escaped, please help me bring my babies home,” Kenton wrote in a post on social media.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

‘A really kind person:’ Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man after infection from rabies

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Housing and opioid crises the real threats

Letter writer shocked that someone could blame vulnerable citizens for Nanaimo’s tarnished image

Nanaimo baseball stadium lighting project costs increasing by $350,000

Finance committee recommends LED lights at Serauxmen Stadium

Tribal Journeys go through Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus territory

Paddlers now in Ladysmith en route to final stop in Lummi, Wash.

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

World’s fastest bathtub racer to be determined this weekend in Nanaimo

Great International World Championship Bathtub Race caps full weekend of downtown events

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Beefs & Bouquets, July 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read