Complete strangers have rallied around a local family this week after their pet escaped from its groomer Dec. 29.
Chloe, a 4-year-old Shih-Tzu poodle mix, went missing from Puppy Love Pet Stylist by accident, her owners said. The groomer reportedly offered a $500 reward and has searched for Chloe daily since last Friday.
Brandon Palmero and Andrea Gonzales immediately posted to social media, alerting residents of their pet’s disappearance.
“I’d say overnight it just got tens of tens of shares and it just blew up after that, and we were just shocked at the outpouring of support,” Palmero said.
Since then, volunteers have loaded into their vehicles and searched areas where others had reported possible sightings of the small, timid dog.
A large group met at a park in Glennwilde Jan. 5, a week after Chloe’s escape, to continue the search.
Rasheedah Bullock recently moved to Maricopa from North Carolina. A former pet rescue worker and an owner of four pets herself, Bullock said the social media alerts drove her into action.
“I’ve just been going across the streets in each development talking to people, knocking on doors, chasing down bikers making sure everyone knew,” Bullock said.
The response from the public is heartfelt and has contributed to a Facebook page dedicated to Chloe’s return. Cynthia Ramirez, a woman touched by Chloe’s disappearance, also created T-shirts for her owners and others to wear.
“We’re a lot of caring people here in Maricopa and we just want her back,” Ramirez said.
Volunteers said they begin their searches before sunrise, and many return home after midnight.
“The other day I got home at 3 o’clock in the morning,” Ramirez said. “I was out in a ditch actually with another guy that’s here. We met up and we didn’t find her, but we’re still looking.”
Palmero said Chloe has been a part of his family since she was a puppy. Her best friend is the family’s large mastiff, Duke, who has assisted Palmero in searches for the past week.
The family, along with the public, continues to search on foot, online and through animal control databases to find Chloe.
“We are very grateful, and we are trying to use that to our advantage; if everybody’s willing to help, then let’s do it,” Palmero said. “Let’s try to get everyone together and go out there and see if we can find her.”
Palmero said Chloe is skittish around strangers and will likely run if someone tries to catch her. If spotted, please call 623-910-7573. Palmero requests good Samaritans also try to take a photo to confirm if the sighting is Chloe.
To follow the search, join The Search for Chloe on Facebook.