(Updated 4:58 p.m.) - Atticus has been found safe. Chelsea’s father, Bob Jones, called to say he was found by a family who said he was taking food given to him from their front porch for the past few days. When they saw his story on KXLY, they picked him up and called him in.
“There must have been so many people looking for that dog about a hour ago,” Bob told KXLY. “We really owe you guys. You clearly saved this dog’s life.”
Chelsea was driving home with Atticus asleep in the car when we spoke to her. She said, “He immediately recognized us and came running down the stairs with his whine. He was so glad to see us and he’s now asleep in the car. It was a great moment.”
A dog’s family is trying everything they can to get him back. Atticus, a Catahoula breed, was ejected from a vehicle crash along I-90 on January 18th around 3 p.m. near mile marker 260 between the Tyler and Cheney exits.
Chelsea Jones, a Gonzaga student, says her boyfriend, Nathan Lawrence, was driving back to Western Washington to return to work as a firefighter. That’s when the accident happened. He was changing lanes around a semi when he fishtailed and then tipped over the guard rail. Atticus’ kennel simply popped open and he got out.
Lawrence is now taking time off just to stay in the area to search for Atticus.
“Saturday was the first day that we got tips,” Jones said. An employee with the county’s snow plowing crew spotted the dog near the accident area.
“Someone had spotted the dog right where the accident happened near the guard rail. He had been bedding down in that area, returning to the crash site,” Jones said. She continued, “A state patrolman also spotted him in the median. We were panicked about that.
Tips are streaming in about the missing dog. Jones says they’ve been busy going door to door in the area spreading flyers and their phone number, hoping that somebody will help get him back. At this point they’re even offering a $500 reward for his safe return.
“On the very first night, we went door to door in the area that it happened. The next day we spent four hours in the woods calling out for him, looking for signs,” Jones explained.
As far as they know, Atticus was not injured in the crash. He’s also microchipped. He’s described as a friendly and smart dog, but can be timid. If you have any information about his whereabouts, you’re asked to call Jones at (509) 951-3292.