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‘Like Ace Ventura’: search service planned after chihuahua Clyde’s heroic rescue

Rescue dog Rocco follows a scent into the snowbank where his canine brethren Clyde was rescued a day earlier.
Rescue dog Rocco follows a scent into the snowbank where his canine brethren Clyde was rescued a day earlier. Dave Parsons / Global News

After rescuing a chihuahua who had been missing for almost a week in the frigid outdoors of Regina, the woman who organized the successful search and rescue party wants to keep the happy endings coming.

“Based on the success of Clyde’s story, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the experience and help others in the event their loved one goes missing,” said Kayla Kurcin, who recently created a Facebook page dedicated to helping find missing animals.

“There’s a detective aspect to it, like Ace Ventura. I kind of like that.”

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Photos show the moment Clyde was rescued from under a shed five days after first going missing. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin
Photos show the moment Clyde was rescued from under a shed five days after first going missing. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin
Photos show the moment Clyde was rescued from under a shed five days after first going missing. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin
Photos show the moment Clyde was rescued from under a shed five days after first going missing. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin
Photos show the moment Clyde was rescued from under a shed five days after first going missing. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin

Kurcin first noticed that Clyde the chihuahua had gone missing last Saturday when she saw his owner posting in local lost and found Facebook pages. That’s when she decided to set up a page dedicated to rescuing Clyde.

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The page took off almost immediately.

“It was pretty crazy. There were over 300 members wanting to bring him home,” she said.

Many of those members offered to canvass Clyde’s neighbourhood, and for days combed nearby streets following up on potential sightings reported on the Facebook page.

Volunteers brought out snow fences, and even a trail camera to help in the search.

On Thursday afternoon, a tip came in that Clyde had been spotted under a shed on a property near Ring Road and Victoria Ave.

“We set up snow fence all the way around the property. There were about ten members all the way around the shed. I crawled in between the two sheds and spotted Clyde. I offered him some treats but he wasn’t interested so I grabbed him by the paws and pulled him to safety. Then I wrapped him in a blanket and home he went,” she recalled.

“It was emotional and definitely intense. It was a happy ending for everybody.”

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Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin
Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin. Courtesy: Kayla Kurcin

After witnessing the local community come together to find Clyde, and helping to coordinate the search, Kurcin rebranded her page to “Kake’s Animal Rescue Mission.”

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She said the page is still growing in numbers, and has gotten a lot of positive feedback from members after announcing her intentions to keep searching for lost pets.

“There’s lost and found pages. And there’s rescue groups that do fosters and adoptions but there’s not any kind of pages for search and rescue.”

She said she’ll monitor local lost and found pages, but also invited those who may have lost a pet to reach out to her page directly, where she can then reach out to see if any group members are available to begin the search.

“Clyde’s not my first success story and he won’t be my last. I am hopeful with the page I have set up that I can continue my journey as a pet detective!”

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Rocco, a 4-year-old shepherd cross, might be headed to the classroom soon. His owner Kayla Kurcin is planning to have him formally trained for search and rescue. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

Kurcin, who has a “full house of rescues”, said she’s motivated by a passion for saving animals from unhappy fates.

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“Rescuing animals is my passion. It’s what I love to do,” said Kurcin, who once helped successfully coordinate a rescue from her phone while on the beach in Mexico. “I don’t know any of these people or the animals themselves but it’s my passion to help reunite people.”

She said if the page continues to be popular and successful, she hopes to have her rescue shepherd cross Rocco.

While Clyde’s owner declined to be interviewed by media following his rescue, she said in a Facebook post that her dog is at home catching up on sleep after a trip to the vet.