A dog with what was believed to be duct tape around its muzzle was first spotted on Discovery Trail in Abbotsford near Terry Lake on June 2. (Google Maps)

Mystery of the duct-taped dog in Abbotsford has happy ending

Owner found, and tape proves to be a plastic muzzle

The mystery of the dog spotted with duct-tape around its mouth in Abbotsford has been solved.

Lorie Chortyk, spokesperson for the BC SPCA, said it has been confirmed that the dog belongs to a resident of the area who frequently walks along Discovery Trail and allows his dog to explore off-leash.

“What appeared to be (duct) tape was, in fact, a traditional plastic muzzle,” Chortyk said.

Both the SPCA and Petsearchers Canada – a pet-tracking service – have been involved in the matter since June 2, when a local resident reported that she had seen a dog with what appeared to be duct tape around its mouth on Discovery Trail between McKee and Whatcom roads.

The pooch ran away when she tried to get close to it and no owner could be found, so the woman reported the matter to the SPCA.

The SPCA and Al Maclellan of Petsearchers then spent several days scouring the trails in search of the dog. Maclellan also set up traps and cameras in the area.

The pup was spotted by others on a couple of different occasions, but it always ran away. It came near the traps on two occasions, but was not captured.

Although the dog was seen drinking water, there were growing concerns that – assuming it was a stray – it would starve to death.

Maclellan then reported on social media on Wednesday afternoon that the matter had come to a successful conclusion.

RELATED: Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

“Petsearchers is happy to let everyone know that, after a lengthy and involved investigation, we are confident in concluding that this case is resolved with a happy ending, and in fact there never was a dog in peril, as many people reported to have believed and thought to have seen with their own eyes,” he said.

Maclellan said more than a dozen cameras had been set up in the area, and several pictures were captured today (Wednesday). The woman who first spotted the dog confirmed that it was the same one when the pictures were sent to her.

Maclellan said a volunteer that was on site today saw the dog and, when she ran to get closer to it, she also thought it had tape on its muzzle.

“However, when she got to about three feet away, she realized in fact it wasn’t tape – it was a traditional plastic muzzle,” Maclellan said.

He said a man then appeared and confirmed it was his dog.

“After talking to our volunteer, when she stated that it looked like tape on his muzzle until she was extremely close to the dog, we now understand why so many people thought they saw the tape as well from a distance,” Maclellan said.

He thanked all the volunteers who aided in the search over the last week.

RELATED: Stray dog with duct-taped mouth eludes capture in Abbotsford

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Vikki Hopes | Reporter

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