Colorado family searching for missing dog last spotted with hitchhiker

DENVER — A Colorado family is desperate to get their dog back. They believe a hitchhiker is carting her across state lines.

“It’s like losing one of your kids,” Tiffany Lundberg said.

The Lundbergs are pleading for help to find their one year old, 90-pound Bernese Mountain dog named Ripley. Ripley has a distinctive black spot on her nose.

“Ripley is part of our family. Our fur baby,” Lundberg said.

Ripley got out of her collar and ran into the woods while the family was on a camping trip off of Lincoln Creek Road and Independence Pass at the end of June.

“That morning we hooked her up to her lead then went back in the tent for a little bit and when we came back out, we noticed her lead was wrapped around a rock and her collar was lying on the ground," Lundberg said. "So she pulled out of her collar and nose to the ground caught a scent of something.”

The family searched the area, then four days later there was a sighting.

“The first one was on top of Independence Pass with a hitchhiker and a Bernese Mountain dog getting into a van heading east toward Leadville," Lundberg said.

Lundberg has received several tips from different people who spotted a man with strawberry blonde hair and a beard with a Bernese Mountain dog from areas of Colorado all the way to New Mexico. They say she be may also in the Denver area.

“All of the sightings have confirmed a man with a Bernese Mountain dog hitchhiking on the side of the road,” Lundberg said.

Ripley had surgery earlier this year and the family worries she is in pain.

“Someone saw her with a wobble to her gait, which means her other knee must be going out – or he is causing damage keeping her on the road like this," she said.

The family wants her back — no questions asked.

“We just want our baby home,” Lundberg said.

The owners have filed a police report and are asking if you spot Ripley to immediately call Tiffany at 937-559-3259. She is offering a $4,000 cash reward for Ripley’s safe return.

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