Where is Arctic?
It’s been more than three months since Alison Savoie’s beloved 13-year-old rescue husky dog disappeared from a home he was visiting near Oliver.
Since then, Savoie has been on a desperate search for him, putting up posters, chasing every lead, using drones and horses, and even the volunteer services of a pet medium.
Now with the weather cooling, Savoie is getting even more worried and is making a plea to local hunters and everyone going into the backcountry to keep a watchful eye out for Arctic.
“I believe he’s still out there. He’s survived so much, and he is loved so much, I just have to believe in hope for Arctic. We just want him home.”
The pup, along with his sled dog brothers and sisters, survived the infamous cull at a sled dog operation after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.
“He was always by my side. He never went far from me so there is a part of me that thinks he was taken.”
Arctic disappeared from the rural property in the 1100 block of Willowbrook Road, near the access road to Burnell/Sawmill Lake just northwest of Oliver on June 22.
It’s out of character for the rescue dog to leave her side.
Savoie has been joined on her search for Arctic by the Oliver community who have helped look and put up posters. She created a Facebook page called Finding Arctic which has generated many leads and followers, but no results.
“There was a sighting of Arctic in Penticton by Cherry Lane Mall, at the beach in Oliver, and also someone thought he was living with a homeless person in Summerland. I’ve checked all of these leads but none of them are Arctic.”
She’s gotten to know the fruit pickers in an effort to keep the word out.
For seven years, Arctic lived in their Maple Ridge home.
“When we first took Arctic home, he was scared of everything. We spent years moving like sloths just so he wouldn’t get scared. But through it all we gave him love. He also got to regularly visit with his sisters and brothers who were adopted out. Arctic just loved it.”
In 2012, Robert Fawcett pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an investigation by the BC SPCA led to the discovery of 56 dead dogs buried on a site near Penticton.
“Arctic has PTSD from that. When we got him, and for the first two years, he was afraid of everything. We’d sneeze or even just get up out of a chair too quickly. It took years to let us pet him and for him to be a dog.
“He has given so much to us.”
She is hoping her supporters will do a poster blitz from Osoyoos all the way to Hope. Oliver Grocer’s has been printing posters, and anyone can pick up a poster there.
“I think he might be trying to find his way home,” she said. “He may be 13, but he’s in excellent physical condition. I could see him being able to forage for himself in the wilderness.”
She has a $1,000 reward for his return.
Lots of people have posted on her Finding Arctic Facebook page of possible sightings, but she asks that people take a picture of the dog they think is Arctic.
“We just want Arctic home for Christmas. We have to hold out hope for him.”
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