In October 2018, Kari Yarbrough was driving home with her dogs when she was involved in a car crash. Since she had an open warrant at the time, police took Kari to the county jail and placed her dogs in a nearby yard.
It wasn’t until Kari was released that she learned her beloved pup, Prince, had escaped. Devastated beyond repair, she dedicated every possible resource to finding him.
Kari took to Facebook and begged her community for help. Local animal advocate Monika Courtney saw the woman’s post and selflessly joined her in the search.
Kari and Monika spent the entire winter trying to find Prince out in the wilderness. The chances of finding him were slim to none, considering the freezing temperatures and abundance of predators like mountain lions and bobcats.
The process was emotionally and physically taxing. They set traps, monitored activity on their hunting cameras, surveyed the land, and spent all the money they could on food and supplies.
Though there were a few sightings of Prince, it was clear his time alone in the wilderness had changed him; he was now incredibly fearful and mistrusting of humans. “They can turn into feral dogs in weeks,” Monika told KDVR. “It’s like a switch goes off in their head.”
Just days before Christmas, Kari tracked Prince’s paw prints through the snow. They locked eyes for the first time — but she could tell he didn’t recognize her at all. “That’s devastating to someone whose life is their dog,” she said.
Finally, 96 days after his escape, Kari and Monika found Prince again, this time behind a church. When they cornered him, Kari gently placed her hand under his nose.
At that moment, a miracle was realized.
Footage provided by KDVR Denver
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