Dog Days Search & Rescue has been looking for Kehona an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), for an active duty Naval family, that was lost on the CLU campus. She was last seen jumping into a cactus patch on the Mt. Clef range behind CLU and the YMCA 9 days ago. The team hiked back with traps and cameras for the last 9 days and nights only to be disappointed. Last night that changed quickly into an emergency rescue.
We received a call…there was a dog crying in the middle of a cactus patch, 100 yards in from where she was last seen. 8pm on a Sunday night and the Dog Days Team mobilized. Six members of the team left their families and headed into the wilderness with flashlights and machetes. We met the family who called on the trails and they pointed into the middle of the cactus and said “she is in there about 100 yards away”.
This is where instinct took over…and team members risked painful cactus pricks to save Kehona. It took over 2 hours to work our way into the cactus patch…and finally, like finding a needle in a haystack she was spotted. We found our Kehona in a cactus patch!!! If you thought climbing through cactus was difficult now we had to calmly make our way to her without her going deeper into the cactus field.
We finally had her on a catch pole and were able to get the rest of the way to her. Then the brave team scooped her up and carried her back out of the cactus patch and onto the trailhead. She was so emaciated and we believe had not moved from that spot for 9 painful days in the pouring rain surrounded by howling coyotes who didn’t dare enter the cactus patch. Now the 1/2 mile hike back to the parking lot and her family.