One of two purebred Rhodesian ridgebacks that went missing from Glen Valley on Jan. 15 has been found dead.
Hayley and Jon Legassie updated their Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, confirming that Safari's body has been discovered. A tip led the couple to their dog. The animal's death does not appear to be the result of foul play, they said.
Despite the setback, they remain hopeful that they will still find their second dog, Luna, which went missing from their yard at the same time.
Details of the animals' disappearance are included in the original story below:
A Glen Valley couple are pleading for help in locating their missing dogs.
Luna and Safari, two pure-bred Rhodesian ridgebacks, were last seen at 272 Street and River Road on Sunday, Jan. 15, and the dogs’ owners, Hayley and Jon Legassie, have reason to believe they were stolen.
The rambunctious ridegebacks managed to snap a fence and escape from the Legassie’s yard late Sunday afternoon. Jon followed their tracks in the snow to a field where the dogs are frequently taken for walks. The tracks then led up to 272 Street, along the road and towards the railroad tracks.
“Then there’s vehicle tracks pulled off to the side, there’s human and dog tracks together, and then south of that, there's nothing,” Hayley said.
“So we have fairly substantial reason to believe that someone took them.”
Both of the dogs, ages 5 and 6, have been in professional shows, and Safari is a Canadian champion show dog, Canine Good Neighbour, therapy dog and has an obedience title.
They are both large dogs, reddish brown in colour, and have tattoos on their inner thighs.
The couple have searched the area, called every vet in Langley, Surrey, Abbotsford and Chilliwack and called every shelter in the Lower Mainland, but have received no leads. Hayley has also contacted the Rhodesian ridgeback clubs of B.C., Canada and Washington/Oregon/Idaho and created a Facebook page that has been shared more than 3,000 times.
“Whoever has them, which we are 99 per cent sure somebody does, does not want them to be found and has no intention on giving them back,” she said.
“The nice thing is they’re both spayed, so they’re not useful for breeding. So at least we have the peace of mind that they’re not being bred over and over if they don’t come home. They’re not just being puppy milled.”
The couple are even offering a $10,000 reward for their Luna and Safari's safe return.
"I know it seems like a crazy amount, but we need them to be more valuable if they are returned than kept," Hayley said.
The Legassies have owned both dogs since they were puppies. Jon grew up with a ridgeback-cross while living in Africa, and had wanted a pure-bred ever since. After he and Hayley were married, they got Luna and Safari.
As hard as it is having them gone, Hayley said it's been even more difficult explaining to her three year old, Lexi, what happened.
"She keeps asking where the dogs went. It breaks me every time. It's just awful," she said.
The Langley RCMP have been notified, and the dogs have both been entered in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), so if someone attempts to sell them, they will show up as stolen, Cpl. Holly Largy told the Times.
Anyone with information is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200, or Jon at 604-802-0519.
More information on the dogs is available on the Facebook page “Find Luna & Safari — Missing Rhodesian Ridgebacks."
Below, photos posted of the two dogs on Facebook