Shannon Boothman was overjoyed to be reunited with her dog Itska in Port Alberni on Sunday after desperately searching for her missing best friend for over two months. (photo courtesy of Shannon Boothman)

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

After more than two months desperately searching for her missing dog, Tofino resident Shannon Boothman was delighted to have her best friend back in her arms.

Itska vanished near Tonquin Beach on Nov. 2, and Boothman and police believed at the time that two tourists had taken the dog, thinking it was in need of care.

Boothman said she received a phone call around 9 a.m. on Sunday from a man who said he had Itska and planned to return him.

“He’s driving up right now from Victoria to give him back,” Boothman told the Westerly News on Sunday afternoon. “I’m really happy. I’m ecstatic. I can’t believe that I’m actually getting him back because it’s hard not to give up hope after so long.”

She sent a photo to the Westerly News around 5 p.m. of her hugging her returned companion.

READ MORE: Tourists allegedly take dog from Tofino, owner pleads for help getting it back

The story of Itska’s disappearance spread rapidly through social media back in November.

Boothman said she received an anonymous phone call from a person late on Christmas Eve, who gave her the name of an Oak Bay man believed to have the dog.

Boothman said she contacted the Oak Bay Police, who investigated and found Itska, but did not determine the people who were caring for him had criminal intent and handed the file over to the SPCA.

“The people felt they were caring for the dog,” said Oak Bay Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. “You aren’t apparently allowed to just care for someone else’s dog, whether you like it or not.”

Boothman was able to find the man’s mother on Facebook, and began messaging the woman’s friends.

The man called her on Sunday morning and assured he would deliver the dog immediately. She said he admitted he had seen the news she was searching for her pet.

“My heart kind of goes out to him. I think he was well intentioned, but when he saw all the posts and everything and how desperately I was searching for him, he should have stepped forward a lot earlier than now,” Boothman said.

“Because that’s actually very negatively impacted my life. But, none of that matters right now.”

READ MORE: Search continues for missing Tofino dog allegedly taken by tourists

Once she has him back, she said she plans to take immediate steps to ensure she does not lose him again.

“The first thing I’m going to do when I get a vet appointment is get my dog microchipped.”

READ MORE: Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read