Victoria dog reunited with owners after running off during attack

Rebecca Ellis and Alex Painter were about to continue the search for their missing dog on Tuesday night when they got a call from the Hollywood Crescent area that she had been found.

The two-year-old pit bull had gone missing on Friday when a man took a hammer to the windows of their van while it was parked on Pembroke Street. Camper and Ellis were sitting in the vehicle about 8 p.m. when the attack happened.

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Both jumped out of the vehicle, but Camper became separated from Ellis.

Four days later, however, “We got a call from a really nice lady saying that Camper just wandered into her backyard, and had followed another dog home,” Painter said.

He said Camper has lost a few pounds since she disappeared and her paws seem a little sore, but other than that, she is fine.

“It was immediate relief,” he said. “As soon as we got there, she came over and gave both of us the biggest hugs.”

Ellis said Camper — who was taken to a veterinarian for check-up — is back to normal, although “just a little bit tired” and very hungry.

“She’s been getting lots of treats, lots of food,” she said. “We’re trying to spread her food out.”

A 40-year-old Edmonton man was arrested in the van attack and later released with a court date and conditions. He faces charges of assault with a weapon and mischief.

Camper’s disappearance sparked a search by Ellis and Painter that brought out strangers and volunteers from both Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing and Find Lost and Escaped Dogs.

“The response from the community, as well as ROAM and FLED, has been amazing.”

Both Ellis and Painter moved to the city recently and said people have given them quite a welcome. It’s the same for Camper, a rescue dog from Saskatchewan. “It’s really great to come to Victoria and now be part of such a supportive community.”

The dog got her name because of her personality. Painter said a woman who met her for the first time said she was “the happiest camper in the building.”

Ellis joked that there is another reason for the name now.

“She’s been camping for five days.”

jbell@timescolonist.com

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