Missing Deaf Dog Rufus Found After Almost 11 Months

Rufus, a deaf blue heeler, has been found safe after missing for 11 months and will be reunited with his family at 10 a.m. Monday, July 25 at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Courtesy/ SFAS

Santa Fe Animal Shelter News:

Missing for almost 11 months, Rufus, a deaf blue heeler dog has been found safe and is at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter waiting to be reunited with his family. Rufus was gifted to Marisa Martinez after the death of her 9-year-old daughter, who lost a battle against cancer in June 2017.

Martinez is with family in Spain and will travel home to be reunited at 10 a.m. Monday, July 25 with Rufus  at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

The 5-year-old dog, who brought comfort to the family during challenging times, escaped from Martinez’s Santa Fe home in early September 2021. The Martinez family got to work posting hundreds of “lost dog” posters and harnessed the power of social media with the support of Team Frijoles Lost Pet Recovery, a volunteer based group that helps reunite lost pets with their guardians.

A long 10 months later, on July 3, 2022, a motorcyclist on Caja Del Rio Road snapped a photo of a loose dog wandering across the street from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. The photo, posted to social media, caught the attention of Team Frijoles, who immediately began to set up cameras and traps in the area. Martinez, who is visiting family in Spain, also saw the post and was hopeful that it was her missing dog, Rufus.

Eight days after the photo was posted, Michelle Lord and Wendy Katzman of Team Frijoles, were able to share the news with Martinez that Rufus had successfully been recovered.

“It’s a miracle,” said Martinez, who never gave up hope that Rufus would return home, adding that Rufus was found on the 5-year anniversary date of her daughter’s terminal diagnosis.

Rufus arrived at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter Monday, July 11 where staff scanned and verified his microchip. He is now receiving care at the shelter while his family travels back to the U.S. to finally be reunited in a long overdue reunion.

Murad Kirdar, public relations officer of the shelter, had a Zoom call with Marisa and one of her daughters, 13-year-old, Xavia, a few days, while they were still in Spain, to let them see Rufus for the first time in almost 11 months: watch video here.


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