SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While we typically don’t report on lost dogs, tonight we have a story on a volunteer group that goes out and finds lost dogs and returns them to their owners.
This is Bella, a four-year-old German Shepherd caught on camera that had been on the run for over three months and had traveled hundreds of miles.
She is curious about what appears to be a kennel, but watches what happens.
She’s caught in a trap.
“I started doing this because I used to follow the volunteers on Facebook,” Beth Capistran said.
The trap was placed there intentionally by Beth Capistran, who joined the Retrievers; an animal rescue group out of Minnesota.
Their mission is to find lost dogs and return them to their owners.
“We usually only trap within an hour, but I’ve traveled two hours,” Capistran said.
Capistran is a school teacher by day, and a dog catcher by night.
When they get a report of a lost dog, they come up with a strategic plan.
“You know it’s really difficult when you lose a pet a lot of people are like what do you do, what are you going to do,” volunteer Nola Trei said.
They talk with the owners and tell them to post fliers.
They ask questions; like where were they last seen, what they like to eat, are they friendly?
“You have to outsmart the dog and some of them are very very smart,” Capistran said.
Their mission is to find the lost dog, no matter how long it takes.
“We’ve got days where we are out watching the dog for hours sitting there monitoring we had a case where we worked it for 90 days straight,” Trei said.
As they wait nearby within 10 minutes, the camera will send them a notification when the dog has been caught.
Capistran may live in Luverne, but she and her one volunteer will search for dogs all over the three-state region.
“I’ve been to Watertown I’ve traveled an hour and a half to trap when you see a need and you have individuals who are working really hard that are there on scene to get the dog safe and they are coming to a feeding station how can I not bring a trap up there and get the dog safe,” Capistran said.
“It’s hard to put it into words, especially these cases where we’ve done it for several days,” Trei said. “But once that trap door shuts it’s the best feeling ever because we know they are safe.”
Capistran says in the three years she’s been doing this, they have located over 50 dogs.
To learn more about the Retrievers and their mission click here. They are always looking for more volunteers.