LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Animal lovers and rescue groups spent Thursday evening searching through a Las Cruces desert for Jingo, a dog that is lost after it ran off from a dog transportation handler.
Monika Cirsch, the dog’s owner, told KTSM she hired Blue Collar Pet Transportation, a transportation service based in Florida, to take her dog home to her in Los Angeles.
However, when the handler made a stop in Las Cruces, the company said the dog was scared, didn’t want to let the handler get her out of the kennel and bit him before running away.
“I did tell them over and over that she’s a flight risk, to be very careful,” Cirsch said.
The dog ran out into the desert behind a Love’s gas station in Las Cruces, near Robert Larson Blvd.
Cirsch said the handler eventually needed to move on his transportation route, leaving her dog, Jingo behind.
A spokesperson with Blue Collar Pet Transportation said they would refund Cirsch and would pick up the dog and continue delivering her to her owners in California once found.
“I have a good feeling the dog will show up because he has a collar and all kinds of chips, animal control will contact us and we’ll go and pick up the dog for her,” the spokesperson said.
Cirsch, however, said she was frustrated and felt the handler did not have the experience in handling a nervous dog. Cirsch said her dog comes from a Korean shelter where she was not in the best condition.
Cirsch put a call for help on a Facebook Las Cruces community page asking if anyone had seen her dog.
Meanwhile, nearby neighbors in the Las Cruces area and local animal advocate group members saw the post and felt a need to help.
Some people searched the desert, leaving food and water for the pup. Others walked around with towels and blankets ready to try and capture the dog.
KTSM crews were out reporting in the area and spotted the dog running through the desert. However, the dog ran away and was unable to find it before sundown.
Cirsch said she plans to travel to Las Cruces and look for her dog, especially using a tracking device paired to her iPhone from the dog’s collar.
Animal Control and the Animal Services Center of Mesilla Valley said they are aware of the situation. Animal Control said it would send officers to look for the dog once they’ve finished answering the urgent calls.
A spokesperson for Animal Control said there are only two field officers available for the county.