The search is still on for Keno, the four-year-old husky/shepherd cross that went missing on Mount Prevost on Jan. 25.
Mike Addiscott, one of the leaders of the search for Keno, said the search is still centred in the Coombs area, about 100 kilometres north of where the dog went missing, after credible sightings of him were made at the Coombs Country Campground several days after his disappearance.
He said there has been a steady stream of sightings of Keno since then in that same area, but the vast majority of them have been discounted.
But Addiscott said a park warden at Little Qualicum Falls Park got within 20 feet of a dog that fit Keno’s description perfectly on Feb. 3, and that report is being taken very seriously.
“As well, a little girl who has never seen Keno before and knows nothing about the search for him, told her mother on Feb. 4 that she just saw a white wolf, so we think that sighting is credible as well,” he said.
“We’ve also come across dog tracks that look like they could belong to Keno because he has a distinctive track due to a twist in one of his feet. The search goes on and we’re confident we’ll find Keno.”
Keno’s owner Jesse McMaster was walking Keno on the trails on Mount Prevost on Jan. 25 when the dog saw an elk, pulled the leash he was on out of McMaster’s hands and chased the elk up the mountain.
McMaster tried to pursue the dog, which was pulling the 10-foot leash behind him, but lost him and he hasn’t seen Keno since, despite looking for him almost every day since his disappearance.
There had been numerous reports of Keno being seen in the Coombs and Whiskey Creek areas in the days since he was lost on Mount Prevost.
Searchers think it’s possible that Keno made contact with a group of transients known to camp on Mount Prevost, close to where Keno was last seen, who drive between the Cowichan Valley and Coombs often.
The theory is Keno may have been taken to the Coombs area with them, but it’s also possible that Keno, a large dog, followed the power lines all the way to Coombs.
Members of ROAM BC, an organization that helps reunite lost animals with their owners, the Arrowsmith Animal Resource Foundation and many volunteers are on the ground in search of Keno, and social media is alive with potential sightings of the dog, and other information.
Addiscott said hundreds of posters have been placed in the Coombs area asking the public for information, wildlife cameras have been strategically placed in the area and drones are in the air as the search continues.
“Keno could have either been taken, or moved on himself, to another area, and that’s why we want as much outreach as possible from all over so people can keep an eye out for him,” he said.
“If someone sees Keno, don’t approach him because he’s skittish and will likely run away, but please try to take a picture so we can determine if it’s him or not. People should keep in mind that Keno is a big dog, bigger than a German shepherd. We’ve responded to a lot of sightings only to find dogs much smaller than Keno.”
If someone sees Keno, or thinks they have seen him, they should call ROAM at 778-977-6260 or 778-977-6265.