Every day since getting Vitani back has been the most euphoric experience. She lights up my life in unexplainable ways. Throughout the three days that she was taken l was surprised at how lost and hallow l felt. I would have lost my mind if it weren't, in great part, for you Melissa and the Summit Lost Pet Rescue team! You kept my mind focused on all the positive and productive things l could be doing to get her back. The experience, resources, and knowledge you have on reconnecting pets and owners is impressive but it was comforting most of all to feel the empathy you had in my fear, sadness, and ultimately in my extreme joy in getting her back. You're absolutely astounding and we cannot thank you enough for everything you did for us two buds.
Nat & Vitani
My husband got in a car accident and our sweet dog got lost. We were recommended to contact Summit Lost Pet Rescue to help us. Brandon worked very hard and even went out there to look for Sapphire because I was three hours away. He saw her running across the snow looking very scared and they figured out where she was sleeping. They advised me to come as early as possible and we found her the next morning. I thank the team at Summit Lost Pet Rescue so much because these people care and are amazing. My little pity is doing awesome and you couldn't even tell she was up there. I'm just amazed at how much help they gave and are so willing to risk their lives in a situation like that. Please know that you guys were so gracious to us and our family and my kids love that you were right there to help us. They would have been devastated if she would have never came home. Thank you so much.
Chanel & Sapphire
I just wanted to let everyone know that Summit Lost Pet Rescue will help you even if you aren’t in Summit County!
My foster dog escaped 48 hours after I picked him up from transport. The shelter neglected to tell us he was a feral street dog and had been trapped previously. He got out between 7-8pm on Monday night, and I contacted Brandon of SLPR around lunchtime on Wednesday. I had contacted two local trappers, but they hadn’t gotten back to me and out of desperation I reached out to Summit Lost Pet Rescue even though they are a few hours away, just hoping for a tip or two on how to catch this poor dog.
I never expected Brandon to spend his entire lunch hour talking me down from my panic attack, as well as helping lay out a strategy for catching Wilbur! One of the best things he told me was that this was a marathon, not a sprint. That one line kept me from doing a lot of stupid things that probably would’ve made sure Wilbur didn’t trust my house or the traps.
Thankfully Wilbur stayed within a mile range of my house (I live in a rural area, so he had a high chance of being eaten by coyotes or our local mountain lion that was seen ¼ mile from my house just a few days prior). Brandon talked me through how to lead Wilbur to my house using a trail of yummy treats and it worked! Wilbur started coming up my driveway on Thursday! By Friday, I had him eating in front of the trap, and on Sunday, we caught him!!
I never would’ve gotten this done if not for Brandon spending so much time holding my hand and keeping me from freaking out on a regular basis. He checked in with me if my updates were too far apart, and was incredibly responsive with any questions or worries (and trust me, there were a lot of both!)
Wilbur and I will be forever grateful for the generous sharing of Brandon’s years of expertise and am so grateful that he and Melissa founded such an amazing organization that saves the lives of lost and scared.
"They (Owner's parents) said they tried to follow Summit Lost Pet Rescue's instructions completely. Since the woman saw her on the highway, the owner's mom took Hank (the sibling dog) and walked him along the entrance to the trail from the highway. She said she did what you recommended and talked to Hank in the sing songey voice and then eventually she saw Casey on the other side of the highway poking her head out from the snowbank by the gate she ran through the first day. She looked curious and kept looking at Hank so the owner's mom kept singing to Hank and giving him treats while saying Casey's name. The owner's dad also asked everyone in the parking lot to leash their dogs in case that made her feel more comfortable coming up. Casey kept walking towards them and then backing up a bit so they just stayed where they were. Eventually Casey ran down the highway but turned back and looked at them so the owner's mom sat on the ground in the parking lot where she could see them and kept giving hank treats and singing to him and then eventually Casey came close but Hank got excited and jumped towards her and scared her so she ran back about 10 feet so she bear hugged Hank so he couldn't jump and then Casey came up close enough for her to let go of Hank and grab Casey. She kept saying how she wouldn't have thought to do any of those things and their first instinct was to call for her and that if it hadn't been for your instructions thats what they would have done."
-Casey & Owners
Merlin came home around 2 am last night! We heard him meowing through a baby monitor we set up outside so we could hear him and let him in! Thank you to everyone who shared and helped to spread the word and look for him, we're so happy to have him back! A HUGE shout out to Summit Lost Pet Rescue, Inc for providing us with extra resources and tips and tricks to help bring him home! They were so responsive and communicative and Lisa came out to our house with neon signs, a trail cam and humane trap setup to give us every fighting chance to get Merlin back. Thanks again! And we're so happy to have our boy home!
Cody, Taylor & Merlin
First of all, no thanks can possibly be encompassing enough to express my gratitude to Melissa and the volunteers for their dedication and time. They are people who are truly deserving of dogs in this world.
So. Here goes: Ziva was picked up near our place in Dillon--the dogs are all free-range and stick close, but it was evident (sparing details, but evidence abounds) that she was taken by someone and whisked off to Frisco, where she was spotted within the hour. Mind, she is an 11-year old husky with only 50% vision, and is physically incapable of running even 1 mile with me. We called Police Dispatch at 7:30pm that same night to report her missing, and checked in with Animal Control first thing Monday morning. [By the way, these establishments are a huge blessing to this community.]
A week goes by with nothing, and then, she was spotted on Rainbow Lake trail. An entire week after that, I received a most interesting phone call: having been unaccounted for 2 weeks by now, the caller stated that they had her, she was fine, BUT she was in Green Bay, WI. Sweet relief! And yet, as a worry-worn dog mother and also a Detroit Lions fan, you can imagine how compoundingly distasteful this news was. Not to mention, 4 states and 17 hours away. VERY long story short: they found her on the road, took her in, saw a vet (no, her chip was not yet registered), had a family emergency, and took her to GB WI with them. They then left her with a family member up north when they returned to Frisco for work, saw the fliers, and called my number. They said they did not report her because they thought Animal Control was "sketchy" and didn't trust them. This was absolutely CONFOUNDING to me, as they literally eliminated my ability to find my dog. But, as I talked with them about her, I realized that their hearts were in the right place, and while what they were doing was only partially right, they did their best. To be fair, I've been to Northern Wisconsin, and it's not the dog-friendly heaven that we enjoy in Colorado. My other dog, incidentally, is from Lubbock, TX, and so I can understand where these folks' judgment would have come from. Nevertheless, at the time I was fuming, and I must say I'm impressed with my self-restraint. They were, after all, in possession of my darling girl, and I needed to secure her safe return. I've read various posts regarding feelings of anger or angst towards finders of lost animals, and as frustrating as it can be, I realized the importance of understanding through their eyes and appreciating what they did right. 1. They cared for her, and 2. They called me.
Getting her home was another story, and while open to discussion about how to do it, these folks were pretty darn content that she now had a good home in Green Bay. I'd have to wait until they returned in 30 days' time to even begin to think about logistics.
While Melissa combed through the volunteer network for possible transports, I was updating one of my very good friends from Vail on Ziva's situation. He was in Michigan for a wedding, and his flight returned that Thursday (the call came on the Sunday prior).
Let me just take this occasion to say that I have had the best of people in my life, and for that I am dumbfoundedly grateful.
Without hesitation, he outlined his plan: his flight laid over at Chicago-Midway (about 3 hours south of GB WI); he would cancel his Denver leg, rent a car, and go get Ziva. And drive the 17 hours back to CO.
And he did, through epic electrical storms and warnings of imminent flash flooding.
She's back safe and sound, and even her grumpy brother The Grim is happy to have her back in the fold.
I simply cannot express enough thanks to Melissa, my wonderful network of family-friends, and the Summit County pet community. We truly have something special here, everyone. — withBeej Johnson
-Claire & Ziva
My little warrior kitty Nala and I were involved in a rollover car accident after the Eisenhower tunnel going towards Silerthorne on June 4th, 2020. When I regain consciousness my first thought was “NALA!”, I called out to her and I had no response, I thought she was dead. I look behind me towards the back of the car and she’s staring right into my eyes and I could tell she was terrified due to the impact. Her crate completely broke so she was loose. When civilians driving by and paramedics came to help me out of my car she bolted out of the trunk and into the nearby woods. The firefighters at the scene tried looking but they had no luck. The paramedics made sure I was ok and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I kept telling them “no, I want to help look for my cat” but they said that it is recommended I go, so I went. I remember laying in the hospital bed unable to control my crying because I couldn’t stop thinking about Nala. Deep down I felt like I lost her forever. After I got to my moms house in Carbondale I realized I couldnt give up on her. I needed her just as much as she needed me. I started posting her picture everywhere and I had friends and family get in contact with people in Summit County. I got in contact with Debbie and she gave me tips on what to do. I bought myself a trap and gather some of my clothes and go up to the crash site. I couldn’t afford a trail cam or more traps and I had no knowledge on animal behavior and that’s when my prayers were answered… I get a message from Brandon asking for more information on the accident, where it happened, and information on my cat. In my mind I remember thinking “Why is a stranger trying to help me?” and thats when I found out he’s with Summit Lost Pet Rescue and he specialiazes in finding lost pets. I got to know some of his volunteers and his partner Melissa Davis.She was kind enough to let me stay at her house for a night instead of getting a hotel in Silverthorne considering I lived in Denver and my family lived in Carbondale. I knew I could trust these people and I knew they could bring my baby home. Brandon came up with a plan to set up cameras and traps through out the crash site and we had our very first siting about a week or so after we met. After that first siting she stopped showing up. My heart literally sank to my stomach because I thought it was a sign to give up. I remember asking Brandon if it was time and his response was “Heck no! We are going to keep trying and we will bring her home!” and he didnt lie. 5 weeks after that we got another siting, then another, then another. It was time to arm traps and get her and to my surprise we did! We caught her on August 10th, 2020! Brandon and I were texting about the experience then a couple hours after I get a call from him saying “We caught her! Shes coming home!” I was in total disbelief. I went from thinking I was never going to see her again to getting a phone call that she was ready to come home. I’ve never felt so much happiness in my entire life! I cant thank Brandon Cuillo enough. He kept me from giving up. He said he would do it and he did! My best friend is home with me because of Summit Lost Pet Rescue! It was an amazing and educating journey looking for Nala alongside Summit Lost Pet Rescue. I’ve never met such an extraordinary group of people who are so dedicated and willing to go above and beyond to help people with no knowledge on finding their lost pets.
-Juliet & Nala
My floofy Binx disappeared off my balcony on June 25th. I’d given up almost all hope of finding her when I got a call from my neighbors on Tuesday. They’d seen a black cat in their yard. I was able to talk to them Wednesday evening, and they showed me the shed in the back of their yard where they’d sighted her a few times. They said the cat was longhaired, so I dared to let myself feel some hope. (I’ve been disappointed before!)
The shed was slightly elevated on concrete posts, so there was a barely-cat-sized crawl space underneath. Also attached to the shed was a dirt floor tunnel of sorts that was filled with junk. I figured that she was hiding somewhere in all that, so I parked myself on one end of the tunnel and called and talked and sang to her, with lots of my usual “kitty kitty purr purr murr murr” and shaking some dry food in between.
After about ten minutes, she meowed a few times, and it really sounded like her vocal fry. I started crying because OMG MY CAT IS RIGHT HERE AND I WANT HER BACK. She went silent. So I pulled myself together and resumed calling. I heard nothing for a while. It started raining, but I wasn’t going to leave her.
Then I thought I saw her at the other end of the shed tunnel. I hurried down the length of the shed, and then I walked v e r y s l o w l y around the corner. I saw her for about .002 seconds before she disappeared. It looked like her! Hope was running wild!
So I put some bits of her food near the shed, and I moved a few feet away, still calling and talking to her. Soon, she started meowing again, and I could hear that she was so close, perhaps within reach. So I stuck my hand under the shed, and I felt her sniff me. I hoped that she would come out after that, but no dice. So I stuck my hand under the shed again, and I began petting her. She was rubbing over my hand, but I figured that she wouldn’t come out on her own anytime soon. So I loved on her a bunch, and then I grabbed the scruff of her neck and pulled her out. (That’s a move I’ve had to use to get her out from under the bed, so I knew she’d go limp and let me do it… which she did.)
This truly feels like such an unexpected gift from the universe to have my lovey black floof Binx alive and well after so much time passed. It was a month, minus three days. That's a heck of a long time for a very indoor kitty to survive on her own, and I'm so proud of her for keeping herself safe!
I wouldn't have found Binx without the help of Melissa and Brandon of Summit Lost Pet Rescue. I wouldn't have made the big, simple road signs that kept my neighbors looking. I wouldn’t have thought of using a wildlife camera to spot her, and they lent me one. I wouldn’t have known how deep I needed to search or how patient I needed to be. I would have given up so much sooner. I wish I'd asked to search the yards of further-away neighbors tho (as they advised), as I might have found her sooner.
Also, my neighbors on Forest Drive in Frisco are just fantastic. So many people were looking out for my beloved kitty, and that's why she's home now.
-Diana & Binx
Melissa and Brandon at Summit Lost Pet Rescue were AMAZING! Our dog Lucy went missing on a Thursday evening. Within 30 mins they were in touch with me, advising us on steps to take and what to do. For the next 36 hours, they were constantly in contact. They offered advice, but more importantly they were encouraging and reassuring. We are so grateful for them and Summit Lost Pet Rescue and the work that they do.
-Jen, Nick & Lucy
Losing my dog almost broke me. And it should have. But people who I had never met before kept me from losing myself during one of the hardest moments of my life.
My dog, Bubbles, went missing on the night of March 28. She is an 11 year old Shiba Inu, weighs 20 pounds soaking wet, and is nearly deaf. I knew it would take a miracle to get her back, and I’m not one to believe in miracles.
But volunteers from Summit Lost Pet Rescue, Inc. kept my hope alive, and kept me searching despite all the odds for the 12 days my beloved little friend was gone. Melissa, Brandon and Coleen were there for me every single day from the morning I asked for help until the moment Bubbles came back home.
Summit Lost Pet Rescue went above and beyond to try to help me find my dog. I hadn’t the first clue on how to go about tracking, trapping or attracting lost dogs, and their advice proved invaluable over the next few weeks to convince me I was doing everything I could possibly do to find Bubbles.
On the first day after she went missing, they helped scour the area around Tenmile Creek in Frisco, put up signs around town alerting residents to look out for her, went door to door around the neighborhood with me asking if neighbors might have seen her, and even prodded me to check in snowbanks and pushed me to keep searching, keep hope alive.
They gave me ideas, such as putting ‘scent stations’ and comfort stations around the neighborhood, to try to attract her back home. I called out her name at night in the unlikely event she could hear me, just to at least All in all, these amazing volunteers taught me how much other people can care about my dog as much as I did, and it gave me faith that somehow, some way, Bubbles would come back.
On a April 11, 12 days later, a group of backcountry skiers from Denver - who were not supposed to here due to quarantine - just got done skiing a run on the other side of the ten mile range, near the ten mile rec path on the way to Copper Mountain from Frisco. They were walking back when they spotted Bubbles, my dog, sitting under a tree, calm as can be. 12 days without food, shelter and two snow storms - but there she was, alive.
Coleen met with the skiers and brought Bubbles back to me. She was starving, had lost 8 pounds and had dislocated her hip, but was otherwise fine. It really was a miracle I prayed for. And I honestly believe it was the efforts of these Summit Lost Pet Rescue and the hope they instilled in me that brought her back. I will be forever thankful.
- Deepan and Bubbles
We never would've been able to get Grundy back without the help of Summit Lost Pet Rescue. While I'm not lucky I lost my dog, I'm extremely lucky I lost him in a town full of amazing people who helped me find him. Thank you guys again for all your help!
-Krista and Grundy
Our new Shiba Inu rescue got out at a friends house in Alma around 10pm in early May (we had rescued him about 2 months prior and he wasn’t familiar with this part of Alma) and we frantically searched till 1:30 in the morning with no luck. We posted on many pages including Summit County Loves Their Pets and Brandon and Melissa saw that post and quickly got to work. They contacted me early to get all the info needed. They made flyers and help get the word out. They have me detailed instructions on each step to take and helped me to stay calm. Within 2 hours of being in contact with Melissa and Brandon a very friendly local called to tell me my sweet Duggo was playing with his dog but he wasn’t able to grab him. I met up with him and by that point Duggie had moved on down the road just a few minutes prior to me arriving. I went the direction the sweet local told me Dug went and I quickly spotted him. I squatted down and patiently waited for him to come to me and he finally did after a few minutes. We were so happy to be reunited and he was excited to go home and sleep off his big night out on the town! So thankful for Brandon and Melissa and what they do for our community!
- Cassie, Chris and Duggie
I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers at Summit Lost Pet Rescue. Melissa and Brandon were so helpful when my cat Mango got out. He got out early in the morning, and within hours I was in contact with Melissa. She gave me a trap, a trail cam and lots of support for how best to word our signs and where to hang them. They got other volunteers involved, and soon people started calling with leads for orange cats they had seen in our area. None of them were Mango but it was nice to know people were looking. Days passed and Melissa stayed in contact with me everyday, encouraging me every step of the way to keep hopes high and to not give up. When I was slow to get the Facebook posts updated as “still missing” Melissa would bump the posts to keep them active and seen by as many people as possible.
After two weeks I was starting to get down and it seemed like there was no way our kitty would ever come home. And then around 11pm on day 13 someone texted and said they had seen an orange tabby cat with tags a few blocks from my house. I went out with a flashlight and our other cat on a leash hoping to lure Mango out of his hiding spot. I sent Melissa a message saying I had spotted him not expecting her to respond, but even past midnight she responded with advice on what to do to hopefully get him to come to me. After hours of sitting out there (my other cat clearly mad about being outside in the cold) I decided to set out a trap and hoped that Mango would fall for it. Sure enough he did, and at 8 that next morning, almost exactly two weeks to the minute Mango was back home with us. Melissa was right there to celebrate, along with all the other volunteers and people who had sent us potential sightings. She even came over and met Mango kitty despite being highly allergic to cats. These amazing people have a passion for reuniting lost pets with their families, and without them we never would have gotten our kitty back, and I know so many other people can say the same.
- Julia and Mango
I hope you know how truly amazing I think you and your team are! The willingness you all have to help and the outright quickness of your actions is seriously awesome!
Summit County Animal Control & Shelter Staff
It is amazing what can be done when a community has the support needed. My dog ran away from us while hiking with her in November. I immediately turned to Brandon, Melissa and Summit Lost Pet Rescue for help and support. They were quick to respond and were ready to jump in and help in any way possible. Getting the word out, and providing useful information right off the bat allowed me to get my dog back much sooner. Within hours volunteers were there to help search for the dog, make signs, provide valuable strategies and thanks to their help my dog was found within 24 hours of taking off. From helping people find lost dogs, providing useful information, and helping re-unite dogs with their owners Summit Lost Pet Rescue has provided summit county and surrounding towns with a peace of mind if your pet goes missing. I wouldn't have found my lost pup if it wasn't for Summit Lost Pet Rescue , thank you for all you do for our community!
-Brooke and Summit
When Henry was lost I felt alone. I was out of my mind with emotions and fear. You want the world to stop for you. The moment I met Brandon of Summit Pet Rescue I felt I was no longer alone. Brandon was confident and organized. His determination from the very start helped me push through my own fear as we started the rescue procedures. Without Brandon, his team, and the incredible support from the community, Henry may not have been a success story. I want to thank Brandon, Melissa, Kerrie of High Paw Pet Supplies in Fairplay, and everyone else involved with Henry’s rescue. Words can’t say enough what they’re support meant to me.
- Andy and Henry
What an amazing group of people! In late August 2019, my fiancé, I and our beloved Chi-mix pup Outlaw were involved in an almost fatal interstate crash whilst attempting to move back east. The night after that crash was a sleepless one. I spent countless hours in a hospital bed two hours away in Denver on Facebook desperately searching for someone who would help us find our sweet little guy while we recovered, AND THEN one by one we were greeted with love and compassion for our situation from a handful of people from Summit County, the people who would later turn themselves into Summit Lost Pet Rescue and SAVE LIVES! They spent countless hours over a two-week span searching the mountains, baiting and setting traps, hanging flyers, managing sightings, and learning how to save lives all while I was recovering in Denver. After a week of hospital recovery, we spent two days with the team in sheer awe of the lengths they were willing to go to find our pup! We then had to continue our move back east and they CONTINUED TO TIRELESSLY SEARCH FOR OUTLAW. Roughly one week later at 2:30 am THEY CAUGHT OUTLAW!! I had never experienced joy like that in my life! Even after they caught him they didn’t stop there! They traveled with him to Denver International Airport and met me with my sweet guy when I landed to take him on his first flight home! I will be forever grateful for this life saving and life changing team!
- Cynthia and Outlaw