Search continues for Colorado pets lost in fatal I-70 crash
A group of dedicated volunteers is helping search for three pets that went missing near the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel after a Lakewood woman died in a fatal car accident on Aug. 23. Kayce Chik, 25, did not survive the crash, but volunteers believe her two cats and small dog remain in the area.
“My family and I, for the first week, we didn’t know what to do,” said Tori Ingle, Chik’s sister. “It would be really nice to know just that they’re not out there, safe in someone’s home. Those were her babies.”
Ingle said that Chik, an animal lover, took in several pets from shelters. When she was young living in Florida, she took a baby possum into their house. Rado, Chik’s white, shorthaired tabby cat, is named after Colorado, while Rida, a brown and white tabby, is named after Florida, where Chik lived previously. Her black rat terrier, Chulo, weighs just 15 pounds.
After attempting to search on their own, Ingle said her family put an ad on Craigslist, where several people offered to search for the missing pets. Setting up traps, cameras and searching with tracking dogs, a group of nearly 400 has stepped forward to help with the search.
“It’s amazing the number of people who are out there trying to find these animals,” Ingle said. “It’s pretty typical that they’ll stay around the crash site. That’s what they think they’re doing.”
Debbie Diver, one of the search organizers, has helped with volunteer pet searches for more than a year. She said the group used funds raised through GoFundMe to set up four traps, with a motion sensor camera on each one. She added that every day, someone sees a new sighting: paw prints or nibbled-on food.
“We know where the pets have been, but we don’t know when,” she said. “With any missing pet search, you start at the point of escape, and you work your way out.”
She added that the search would not be over until the animals are found.
“It’s been three weeks,” she said. “I will keep looking. I do believe we’re just at the beginning of this.”
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