News Flash

Summit County Sheriff's Office

Posted on: August 21, 2018

New Mexico Dog Reunited with Owner After Missing For Two Months

Rainey, a dog from New Mexico was reunited with it's owner after being missing for two months.

On August 11, 2018, a six-year-old malamute mix named Rainey, was happily reunited with her owner at the Summit County Animal Shelter after going missing for two months from New Mexico.


Date:  August 21, 2018
Contact: Erin Opsahl
(970) 423-8901

Photo Credit- Summit County Animal Shelter


SUMMIT COUNTY, CO – On August 11, 2018, a six-year-old malamute mix named Rainey, was happily reunited with her owner at the Summit County Animal Shelter after going missing for two months from New Mexico.

Rainey was being taken care of in New Mexico by the mother of her owner, Erick Williamson, while he attended graduate school in Colorado. One day, Rainey escaped from her New Mexico home and went on an unaccompanied adventure. Family, friends and neighbors searched extensively for the lost pup, but were unable to locate her. When her adventures led her to the Aztec, New Mexico shelter, she was scanned twice for a microchip, however none was found. She was determined to be heartworm positive.  

Summit County Animal Shelter’s transfer partner, Paige Santini, contacted Shelter Operations Manager, Meg Leroux, regarding transferring Rainey to our shelter. Leroux and Animal Control Director, Lesley Hall, discussed the possibility of transferring an older, heartworm positive dog and the financial resources that would be required to treat her with the understanding that there was a high likelihood that she may be euthanized if we did not accept her. Thankfully, due to the support of generous donors, the Summit County Animal Shelter determined that the necessary funding was in place to make this transfer a reality.  

A few days after Rainey arrived at the Summit County Animal Shelter, she was examined by shelter veterinarian, Dr. Alison McNeilly, to begin her heartworm treatment. Dr. McNeilly scanned Rainey one more time to check for a microchip and to the pleasant surprise of all involved, a number popped up on the scanner. Leroux traced the microchip number and obtained the owner information. She contacted the owner, Erick, who responded in disbelief. He shared with Leroux how the dog had escaped from his mother two months ago in New Mexico and was very confused as to how she ended up in Summit County, Colorado.

Erick stated that he and his family were packing up their Front Range Colorado home and moving to Louisiana that day. He was thrilled to hear that he would be able to make that move with his long lost dog and talked with Leroux about the concerns of her being heartworm positive. Erick contacted Silverthorne Veterinary Hospital and made an appointment for the next day to get her treatment protocol started. Upon his arrival at the Summit County Animal Shelter, he was greeted by a very excited Rainey who was beyond thankful to be back in the loving arms of her owner. The touching reunion video can be enjoyed at

This reunion story brings hope to all lost animals and demonstrates the great importance of ensuring that your pet is microchipped.

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