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18 0314a

She Went Missing More Than Five Years Ago

A sweet-natured, 7-year-old dog is taking a flight home to her rightful owner, roughly five years after she was reportedly stolen from her New Mexico property.
Azula, a 65-pound, female Siberian husky was turned in by a Good Samaritan from Riverside late last month. It turned out the dog had a microchip and the rightful owner lives in New Mexico.

After making contact with Azula’s owner and working on some logistical challenges, the husky’s flight plan was arranged. She is flying home to her owner on Thursday afternoon (March 15) from Ontario International Airport. She will be reunited at approximately 8:30 p.m. at Albuquerque International Sunport.

Her owner, Jezus Vigil, said he was thrilled when he was told his dog was alive. However, he said he was amazed to learn his pet somehow ended up in the Golden State. Mr. Vigil said his dog was stolen from his property more than five years ago.

Riverside County’s employees have a special employee fund to assist some pet owners with special projects, such as this type of situation. The county cannot pay for expenses for an owned animal, such as flying a pet out of state. However, the shelter employees have assisted in the past when a unique situation arose that called for financial help.

For his part, Mr. Vigil and his family made a large donation to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a way of saying thank you for the efforts made to get Azula home.

An employee and a dedicated volunteer, Dani Kerr, bathed and groomed Azula today to make sure she was all primped for her big flight and reunion day. (A video link will be included when this news release is sent to the media.)

Azula will be leaving the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley at about 12:45 p.m. and traveling to Ontario International Airport for an afternoon flight.

Also, some bonus video clips. Here are some Facebook Live video links we shot today as we were dropping off Azula at Ontario International Airport. She was such a friendly dog that other travelers could not help to greet her and pet her head. 




Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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