Bono, the three-year-old King Doberman Pinscher went missing on Tuesday Jan. 26. (Submitted photo)

Bono, the three-year-old King Doberman Pinscher went missing on Tuesday Jan. 26. (Submitted photo)

‘He’s my whole world’: Island community rallies together to find missing dog

Volunteers are needed to join the search for Bono

Cyan Maretic last saw her three year old King Doberman Pinscher, Bono, on Tuesday Jan. 26 after taking him on a hike with friends up the Banon Creek logging road toward Holland Lake.

“At the very top of the mountain I noticed he went to the left. It’s not unlike him to disappear for 10 minutes. I didn’t think anything of it. Then 20 minutes went by, and I started to panic,” Maretic said.

Maretic retraced her steps, hiking up and down the mountainside in snow multiple times, but couldn’t find Bono.

Several of Maretic’s friends joined the effort to help find Bono, staying with her until 3 a.m. that night.

Over the next few days, volunteers from across the Ladysmith community have organized to help find Bono. Approximately 30 volunteers have joined the effort. Community members have offered use of drones, and off-road vehicles to help scour the search area.

Search parties have created a map of locations where they believe Bono might be found. (Submitted photo)

Search parties have created a map of locations where they believe Bono might be found. (Submitted photo)

“Every time I am ready to break down or lose hope, it is the support of my friends, acquaintances and people I don’t even know looking for Bono that gives me the energy to think positively and continue on. I am so thankful for their support,” Maretic said.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for the countless hours of support.”

Maretic has also received much support by Find Lost and Escaped Dogs (FLED) and Reuniting Animals with Owners Missing (ROAM) — two Vancouver Island animal lost and found organizations.

“It is not uncommon for larger dogs like Bono to be found weeks after their disappearance even in these winter conditions,” ROAM spokesperson Lesli Steeves said. “Animals will instinctively attempt to find their home or areas they are comfortable with and stick to that area.”

However, FLED co-founder Jill Oakley believes someone may have Bono and intend to resell him.

“There’s always a possibility. Purebred dogs are always targets,” Oakley said.

FLED has received reports of 11 missing dogs on Vancouver Island since Jan. 1, 2021. Oakley said that Bono’s instinct would be to try and find his way down the mountain. She said that if he hasn’t been stolen, he’s likely to appear in a subdivision close to the Ladysmith trail network.

“We’ve had a dog show up seven months later,” Oakley said. “Volunteers are needed. If you can help search for Bono, contact us. If we can get people reporting in to us, then we can coordinate and get things going.”

Maretic said that Bono is often difficult on a leash, and has anxiety while travelling in vehicles. If anybody sees an uncooperative King Doberman Pinscher being walked on a leash, or looking distressed inside a vehicle, they’re encouraged to get in touch with either FLED, or ROAM.

In the mean time, Maretic won’t give up home. She’s determined to keep up the search until she’s reunited with Bono.

“When he became mine, my entire life changed,” she said. “My whole world is centered around him.”

FLED can be reached at: (250) 479-0911 or info@fledsearch.ca.

ROAM can be reached at: (778) 977-6260 or info@roambc.org

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