Reward offered for return of dog who fled violent attack in downtown Victoria

Times Colonist

The victim of an act of random violence in downtown Victoria is offering a reward for the safe return of her dog, which was last seen running away from the attack on Friday.

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Rebecca Ellis was waiting in her van to pick up her partner, Alex Painter, after work on Pembroke Street.

She was startled when she heard and then saw a man smash the windows of a Jeep parked directly behind her.

She started her vehicle and started to drive away when the man, armed with a hammer, started on her vehicle.

“I was scared for my life,” said Ellis, a nurse. “I wasn’t sure of his intentions and what his next move might be.”

She jumped out of her vehicle and ran to safety.

In the confusion, Camper, a two-year-old pitbull-mix, bolted out of the vehicle as well. She was last seen running down Government Street.

The assailant was eventually arrested, but the dog was nowhere to be found.

Up to 30 people helped look for Camper over the weekend — including random strangers, and volunteers with Find Lost and Escaped Dogs (FLED) Vancouver Island, and Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM).

“She is super obedient and I walk her off-leash all the time,” Ellis said of Camper, who was adopted by Painter from the Humane Society animal shelter in Regina in 2019. “I just want her back, no questions asked.”

She and her partner are offering a reward, the amount of which she does not want to disclose, for ­Camper’s safe return.

So far, there are no leads.

The Victoria Police Department, which issued a bulletin about the pet’s disappearance over the weekend, has not received any reports of sightings.

“It’s not unusual for a dog to bolt under these circumstances,” said Jill Oakley, founder of FLED Vancouver Island. “She was obviously traumatized with all the breaking glass and witnessing her owner in obvious distress.”

She said that there were reports of a dog matching Camper’s description running around the legislature buildings and toward Beacon Hill Park.

Dozens of pet-lost posters have been put up in the area, along with email alerts to volunteers and notices on social media.

On Monday, Ellis and Painter were looking around Beacon Hill Park, an area they have walked frequently, making it familiar ground for Camper.

Camper weighs about 40 pounds and was last seen wearing a pink collar with her name on it. She has been microchipped and tattooed for positive identification.

If you have information on Camper, call FLED at 250-479-0911 or 250-213-1420.

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