Much of East Jackson was involved in a grand chihuahua chase last week as a tiny, speedy dog evaded capture for days.
While she’s now safe, the mystery pup remains unclaimed by an owner.
After Kristin Williamson and Melissa Shinkle finished work at 6 p.m. Friday, they found the chihuahua standing in the county administrative building parking lot.
“We opened the door and tried to get it to come,” Williamson said. “It wouldn’t.”
Williamson said she followed the dog around in her car for at least a half hour, trying to catch it, but eventually lost track of it. That was the third day in a row staffers at the assessor’s office had pursued the dog, Shinkle said.
“He’s so fast,” Williamson said.
Indeed, the shy chihuahua proved too quick for many captors, including police officers who responded to calls about a seemingly lost, elusive chihuahua.
Jen Hoover first saw the dog last Sunday or Monday at her home near the Senior Center, of Jackson Hole but it ran away after a confrontation with Hoover’s dog. The next morning she found it sleeping on a bench on her front porch.
“My husband went to open the door and he bolted,” Hoover said. They left dog food and treats out for the pup. “He’s a pretty fast little guy.”
After days on the lam, the chihuahua was caught by a citizen and surrendered to authorities Friday evening, police said. The tan-and-white female dog is now safely at the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter, but no one has showed up to claim her, community service officer Adam Galadima said Tuesday.
“We’re still trying to figure out who the chihuahua belongs to,” Galadima said. “We haven’t had anybody calling us to try to claim it yet.”
The pup wears a blue collar, but it doesn’t have any tags with information about its name or owner. Galadima said the shelter received a call April 2 about a lost chihuahua named Lulu matching the dog’s description, but when the shelter tried to return the call, the phone line had been disconnected.
“Unfortunately, we could not get hold of the lady,” Galadima said.
If the dog remains in the Teton County shelter unclaimed for seven days, the animal will become property of Teton County and put up for adoption.
In an odd coincidence, posters were plastered around some areas of East Jackson last Monday — April Fool’s Day — advertising a search for a lost, shy chihuahua named Waffles. The posters asked anyone who saw Waffles to call a phone number that belonged to Tyler Valentine.
Valentine said he received dozens of calls from people who spotted a lost chihuahua. But he didn’t put up the posters. He doesn’t have a chihuahua.
The April Fool’s joke, he said, was likely intended to be fairly harmless, but the timing was unfortunate. Valentine said he saw the real lost chihuahua on two or three occasions in the Kelly Avenue area, and tried and failed to catch it himself.
Lost dogs can be picked up and brought to the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter, or reported to dispatch at 733-2331.
Jess Farr, program director at PAWS, said there’s no judgment or shame if your dog gets away: It happens. However, “there’s proper steps you can take to make sure if your dog goes AWOL, to get him back.”
A collar and tag with owner contact information is recommended, but dogs can pretty easily escape their collars, Farr said. The No. 1 suggestion is to ask your vet to implant a microchip in the skin on your dog’s neck. Shelters can scan a lost dog and identify the owner.
Anyone with information about the dog can call the shelter at 733-2139.
— Emily Mieure contributed to this report.