A Victoria dog has been reunited with her owners after going missing for five days.
Rebecca Ellis was waiting in her van for her partner Alex Painter to finish work near Store Street and Pembroke Street when she was violently attacked on Friday at about 8 p.m.
A stranger was screaming and smashing windows of vehicles nearby where she was parked. She tried to drive away but the man smashed two of the windows with a hammer.
“I was scared for my life,” says Ellis, a nurse at the Cowichan Regional Hospital. “I wasn’t sure of his intentions and what his next move might be.”
Ellis then opened the door, letting her dog Camper out, to run to safety.
It was then that she realized Camper, her two-year-old terrier pit bull mix, wasn’t with her and had vanished.
A massive search started on Friday night with the help of ROAM (Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing) and other volunteers across the Greater Victoria area to try and find her.
“I have been around the entire city just calling her and telling her she’s a good girl,” says Ellis.
On Wednesday night, Painter’s phone rang with a woman saying Camper started following her and her dog around Hollywood Crescent in Victoria.
“We drove there in a flat second, maybe a five-minute drive from where we were,” says Ellis.
The woman told the couple that Camper followed them into their backyard.
“We’ve had so many not positive leads on her so we were like, ‘Are you sure?’ but since it was Alex’s phone and since he’s the only one on the collar we just knew,” she says.
Both burst into happy tears when they saw Camper.
“We were crying and smiling and just all the happiness,” says Ellis.
Camper is now getting lots of love and food. The couple says she’ll go for a check up in the morning with the veterinarian.
“We're just going to make sure she is fed back slowly,” she says. “We are just driving and she’s snuggling on me in the front seat in my lap.”
They will be getting her a tracking collar after this whole ordeal, Ellis says with a chuckle.
Victoria Police say a 40-year-old man from Edmonton was arrested and faces potential charges of assault with a weapon and mischief.
“While this file remains under investigation, tonight VicPD officers and staff are sharing the relief and joy that comes with knowing Camper is back home, safe,” says Victoria Police spokesperson Bowen Osoko.
If you have information you can call Victoria Police at (250) 995-7654 extension 1.