Tiny rescue dog sparks long chase through Lakewood, then turns itself in

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A tiny dog sparked a long chase through Lakewood on Wednesday.

The 10-pound dog Ronan was being transferred from a high-kill shelter in Kansas to HomeComings Dog Rescue in Lakewood.


The director of the rescue group, Deborah Hill, said they were getting Ronan out of a van in front of her house near West Sxith Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard when he bolted.

“He was scared and would not even slow down, just kept running like his life depended on it,” Hill said.

Hill, her family and two animal control officers from Lakewood searched for him for nearly three hours.

“He was spotted several times, but was running so fast that there was no way to catch him,” Hill said.

The chase continued as it got dark outside and the roads filled with rush-hour traffic.

Hill said they all watched helplessly as Ronan ran across major streets, including Alameda Avenue.

“He had no street sense, just ran full tilt into traffic,” Hill said.

He was last seen at Sheridan Boulevard and West Mississippi Avenue — more than 3 1/2 miles from the director’s house.

Then he disappeared into the night.

Hill said they finally gave up and just prayed someone would find him and take him into their home.

About 30 minutes later, a neighbor approached Hill, who was pulling out of her garage to go look for Ronan again.

Denise Franzen told Hill she had found a little black and white dog outside of Hill’s house. She knew Hill has two small black and white dogs of her own and thought it was one of them.

It was Ronan. He had traveled all the way back “home” to her door — a round trip of at least six miles.

Hill said she couldn’t believe it, especially because the dog had never even been inside the home before he took off.

Ronan was supposed to go to foster family until being adopted, but Hill said her family felt he needed to stay with the people “he had worked so hard to get back to.”

She said Ronan is “a very loving little guy who loves to give kisses and snuggle.” He’s a 5-year-old Papillon mix.

He will be available for adoption on Saturday at the Lakewood PetSmart adoption event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.