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Family discovers dog escaped deadly incident at Gilbert boarding facility

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 25, 2014

A family, who was told their two dogs died at a boarding facility in Gilbert, is finding new hope.

Over the weekend, Zachary Wicker was told his two dogs, Remington and Valor, died at the Green Acres Boarding Facility.

Wicker says the owners of the business, MaLeisa and Todd Hughes, originally told him his dogs ran away.

Hours later the story changed, the owners told him his dogs were dead.

Just a few days ago, the story changed again when neighbors say they spotted Valor in the past few days.

“Valor was lucky enough to escape,” said Wicker.

Wicker hired a special K9 tracker to find Valor.

“We hired a K9 tracker who came out here early this morning,” said Wicker. “They were able to pick up her scent leading away from the property and we've been tracking all morning.”

Wicker says his 7-year-old daughter is away on vacation and doesn’t know what happened to her dogs.

“We will still have to break some bad news to her, but hopefully it’s not about two dogs and we can get Valor back.”

A few dozen searchers headed out along the canal at Chandler Heights to look for Valor Wednesday evening.

Before they got started, they hung up signs and passed out fliers for the missing dog around the neighborhood.

"Let's go find our boy, because he's going to represent every dog that died that day," Wicker said.

Heather Wicker is ready to take Valor home.

"We have a gate left open, we have a doggy door open waiting for him. We want Valor back," she said.

Annie Wilke joined in on the search, carrying a bag of raw meat with her.

"Leave some of it around and give it to Valor when we do find him, which we will," she said.

A few false alarms sent searchers scrambling. But once it got dark, they stopped for the night.

Wilke knows how bad it feels to have a dog runaway. Luckily hers came back. But this situation, she says, is such different.

"These guys were taken in a way that I can't even imagine. I know what it feels like to lose. But I can't even imagine what they feel like," she said.

Heather plans to take searchers back out with her again tomorrow.