Evergreen restaurant offering $5,000 reward for dog feared stolen

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EVERGREEN, Colo. -- Businesses and residents in the Evergreen area are working to spread the word about a “beloved” dog that is believed to have been stolen from a restaurant.

Rue is the unofficial mascot of the Tributary at 244 restaurant. The 5-year-old male Catahoula was last seen July 5, owner Matt Vogler said on Facebook.

"We believe he was taken from us," Vogler wrote on Facebook.

He posted a flier saying a "strange man came in the back of the business after business hours and took him." The man was wearing a Broncos jersey, according to a post on the restaurant's Facebook page.

The owners are offering a $5,000 reward for Rue’s return -- no questions asked. They described him as a "very important member of our fur family."

"[We] just want our dog back," Vogler wrote on Facebook.

Vogler posted a missing flier for people to print and offered to compensate people for the cost and their time. He also shared multiple photos of Rue.

Many members of the community answered the call to help with the search. A Facebook page called Bring Rue Home! had more than 1,300 members as of Thursday.

Another Facebook group, Evergreen, Conifer, Morrison, Pine & Bailey-CO Lost & Found Pets, urged people to look for Rue and call the owners with any information.

"Any information helps. Please call 720-982-9167 or 303-748-7448," the group urged.

A brewery in Boulder also asked people to spread the word about the search.

"Our friends at The Tributary at 244 in Evergreen are offering $5000 for the safe return of their best friend. Please pass the word along to your network!" the Avery Brewing Company posted on Facebook. "He's a very friendly 57-pound male Catahoula who responds to the name Rue."

"Thank you again to everyone that has contributed so far, the support has been overwhelming, its truly humbling knowing that you guys could care this much and that even if it was just a little Rue still has made a positive impact in so many peoples lives," Vogler wrote on Facebook.

Rue was not wearing a collar but does have a microchip. He weighs just less than 60 pounds, according to Vogler.

There are no other buildings for miles around the business and they have "completely covered the hillsides and surrounding areas with search parties looking for Rue," the restaurant stated on Facebook.

"There's even a drone looking for him," according to the restaurant's Facebook page.