Pets among the few bright spots for rescue crews

While the search for victims of the Oso mudslide continues under difficult conditions, rescue crews are making unexpected discoveries: lost pets.

“It was a little surprising to get a call Saturday,” said Cassna Wemple, a veterinary assistant with Chuckanut Valley Veterinary in Burlington.

A volunteer firefighter who had been working from the Darrington side of the slide had pulled a chocolate Labrador out of the debris and was looking for someone to take care of it.

The dog, Buddy, was bruised and cut but otherwise avoided serious injury. He was treated for an ear infection Tuesday and released.

Two other dogs were brought into Chuckanut with more serious injuries.

An Australian shepherd named Bonnie was pulled out of the mud and had a broken leg, along with one of Bonnie’s owners, who was taken to a hospital. Bonnie’s other owner died in the slide.

Another dog, a German shorthair pointer named Blue, was found Monday with injuries to a hind foot and a hip out of joint, Wemple said.

One of Blue’s owners was likewise taken to a hospital, while another is among the missing.

“In Bonnie’s case, the family has been very busy with Dad” in the hospital, Wemple said.

The staff has been giving Bonnie lots of love and treats, while the daughter of Blue’s owner has been traveling between the veterinary hospital and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to visit her father.

While Wemple and her coworkers had heard there might have been larger farm animals in the slide area, none have come to light, and she hasn’t been able to get close to the debris to see for herself.

Other animal hospitals hadn’t seen any patients from the slide through Tuesday. Shannon Johnson, director of Everett Animal Services, is encouraging people who find lost pets to bring them to the shelter.

“The shelter is the first place people go to look for lost pets,” Johnson said, adding that if pets are brought in, she hopes they can help reunite them with their owners.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or

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