The local community in Maricopa witnessed a real-life “Homeward Bound” saga this month, as reported by Fox10, where a 19-day search for a lost puppy concluded with a joyful reunion.
The young Labradoodle named Winnie, who recently experienced quite an adventure, has finally returned home. Babette and Curtis Beaupre, who relocated to Maricopa in October, decided to adopt Winnie from Tempe.
Babette recalls the initial state of their new pet: “She was awfully matted and needed a bath and groom.”
However, the journey home took an unexpected turn after a stop for grooming along Highway 347, where Winnie managed to escape.
“She slips out of her collar because I think her hair was conditioned and smooth, and she got out and ran like the wind,” Babette explained.
Curtis detailed their immediate response, “We got in the car and tried to follow her. She was in full panic mode, as fast as she could go.”
The Beaupres launched a search operation, distributing flyers and reaching out through social media for their year-old puppy, who was still unfamiliar with her new family.
Then, the community stepped in with support
Winnie was sighted at various locations, including McDonald’s, Walmart, and Auto Zone, but she eluded capture each time.
“We just couldn’t get her. Tried lassoing her, but she’d slip out. Get in a foot or two, but she didn’t know us and she’d take off again,” Curtis recounted.
The situation escalated when HARTT (Humane Animal Rescue & Trapping Team Arizona) joined the effort after Winnie was seen 10 miles away in a mountain, still sporting the ribbon from the groomer. Curtis described the daunting conditions:
“It was outrageous. A hundred degrees for 10 days straight. There are vultures circling around. We think we’re seeing her and couldn’t find her. Foxes, coyotes. First day we put a trap out there was a rattle snack next to the trap, so we moved the trap. No luck still.”
In a unique twist, pilot Bob Coester was recruited to aid in the search from the skies. “I’m going to go flying looking for a dog,” he declared. Coester, a seasoned pilot and a friend of a volunteer, didn’t hesitate to offer his assistance, taking to the air with his co-pilot Charlie.
Coester’s sentiment was clear: “Absolutely. I’d be glad to do that. Nothing worse than a lost pet.”
Babette was moved by the relentless efforts: “Just like, wow. Nobody is giving up on this girl. No one.”
Finally, after 19 days, Winnie was found—thin, unkempt, and frightened, but safely back home. “It was just a crazy moment of she’s finally captured,” Babette said with relief.
Coester expressed his joy in contributing to the search, and the Beaupre family expressed immense gratitude to all the volunteers who played a role in Winnie’s safe return.