Volunteers help search for dog missing since owner’s death on I-5

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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When she heard the news that a little brown terrier name Daisy had gone missing after a 28-vehicle crash, Cindy Koch knew she had to help.

“After I cried my eyes out, I said ‘Guys, who wants to go,'” Koch said.

Though she lives on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound, Koch and a small group drove the 165 miles Wednesday to put up laminated fliers in the Ridgefield area.

They blanketed the Interstate 5 southbound Gee Creek rest area, the nearest rest stop to the scene of the crash, and other spots where people reportedly saw the small dog running around.

Daisy belongs to the family of Matthew Scott, the 39-year-old Oregon man who died in the crash, which occurred at about 10 a.m. Feb. 6 on southbound I-5 near Milepost 13 south of Ridgfield. The pileup took place shortly after a snowstorm hit Clark County. Daisy, who was wearing a collar with tags, left Scott’s Ford Explorer after the collision.

“The family is so overwhelmed with the tragedy that they’re facing so if there’s anything we can do to be of assistance to them, we’re more than happy to do it,” said Koch, director of Second Chance Dogs in Roy. “It didn’t appear that there was an organized group helping this little dog.”

Koch rallied a few volunteers from Second Chance to help search for Daisy, and she got more help Tuesday from some Clark County residents.

“I have two dogs, and I know how I would feel if one of them were lost,” said Jimmiesue Combs, who lives near I-5 east of the crash scene.

Combs said she never saw Daisy, but she heard the dog was missing through her neighbor and social media. She made her own fliers and went to three feed stores in the area, but she found that there were already posters there.

“People are pitching in to help a person who they don’t know,” Combs said. “That’s the cool part.”

Koch, Combs and other volunteers braved the rain to put up as many of the 500 laminated fliers as they could. The posters show a picture of Daisy and a number to call if she’s spotted. The number is a cellphone of a volunteer who can collect the dog if needed.

Those who spot Daisy should call the volunteer at 360-903-1775 or the East Padden Animal Hospital at 360-892-1500.

“It’s a very little dog, and the elements have been horrible,” Koch said. “But these little guys are very resourceful. … They can tuck under a step or they can find a cozy barn with a haystack and just hunker down.”

Also helping in the search effort is Jim Branson, who started the Facebook page “Help Find Daisy in Vancouver.”

Branson is the owner of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue in Seattle, a service business where he uses his dogs to track lost pets. He heard about Daisy on the news and was contacted by Scott’s family a few days after the crash. He was unable to track Daisy because her trail had gone cold.

He encouraged the family to make a Facebook page, but because they were busy organizing Scott’s funeral, Branson volunteered to do it himself. He manages the page, posting information about possible Daisy sightings.

He pitched in for the same reason Combs did. He can imagine himself in the same situation.

“I would want these kinds of resources,” he said. “I would want people to help me find her.”