BOULDER COUNTY, Colo (KDVR) — More than two weeks after the most destructive fire in Colorado history, the search for missing pets continues.
Social media message boards remain flooded with posts, sightings and tips from a community clinging to hope. But with many homes reduced to rubble, it can be nearly impossible to know if pets got out alive.
That’s where “Justice Takes Flight,” a group of volunteer bloodhounds, comes into play.
“If you don’t try, you’ll never know,” said handler Alan Duffy.
Duffy’s team of three bloodhounds has now searched 21 Marshall Fire homes at the request of homeowners.
On Saturday, 5-year-old Amber the bloodhound was called to a home on Vale Road for a missing cat.
Richard Easton says efforts to find their cat, Joey, have come up empty.
“My mom had a pretty rushed evacuation,” said Richard Easton. “As soon as she saw the smoke, she saw the flames, and there was just no time for her to get anything.”
He called Justice Takes Flight hoping for hope, or closure.
“Probably the worst part about this is just not knowing,” Easton said. “If he’s somehow in the house, or if he somehow made it out, we’ll at least know.”
Easton watched as Amber the dog tracked the scent of the cat to a neighbor’s property, where fresh cat tracks were visible.
Duffy is hopeful she may have escaped the fire, based on Amber’s tracking.
“Just because it’s alive doesn’t mean they’re going to catch it or bring it home, but at least they know they have a chance to work with it,” said Duffy.
The nonprofit’s work is completely free, and Duffy says they’ll remain in the area doing searches as long as needed.
“There’s still hope, absolutely,” he said. “You never want to give up.”
You can request a visit from Justice Takes Flight by clicking here.