Care center's dog missing

The Doak Walker Care Center is missing one of its residents: Scooter the Tibetan spaniel.

Doak Walker Care Center spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said that Scooter, the resident dog, has been missing since about 10 p.m. Sunday and that no one knows where she has gone. Employees knew something was wrong when they searched each resident's room Monday morning and couldn't find her.

"She is very important to the residents, and they all miss her very much," she said.

McKelvie said the disappearance is odd because Scooter did not have a track record of running away or even enjoying the outdoors.

Ever since the small dog had an early summer run-in with a skunk, she has not liked going outside at night, and the Fourth of July fireworks made her even more nervous about the outdoors, McKelvie said.

McKelvie is worried that if Scooter got outside, she might have been injured or taken by someone.

"It was such a mysterious disappearance that I don't think she ran away, but I also don't like to think someone would have taken her," she said.

Center employees have notified the Steamboat Springs Police Department and the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter in hopes that someone has found her or seen her. Employees also put an ad in the Pilot & Today offering a reward for anyone who knows where she is.

Doak Walker Care Center Director Carol Shaffer said that the residents of the center are very upset that Scooter is missing because she was such a staple to the community.

"Everybody knew her. Every--body loved her because she was such a good dog," she said.

Shaffer said Scooter would take walks with the residents, sleep on their beds if they let her and even have dinner with them sometimes.

The center adopted Scooter from the animal shelter more than a year ago to help residents feel more at home. Because a lot of the residents had pets before moving to the center, Scooter made the transition easier for them.

"We even had one woman crying (because the dog) was gone and another resident who insisted to go outside and help look for her," Shaffer said.

Shaffer said she hates to think that anyone would take the resident dog. Doak Walker staff and residents still are hopeful that she will find her way home or be turned in.

Shaffer said Scooter had been known to wander into the Yampa Valley Medical Center building that is attached to the Doak Walker center, but she said that Scooter always has been returned.

Scooter is described as small and friendly with light caramel colored fur and a fluffy tail.

Anyone with information about Scooter's whereabouts is asked to call 870-1208.

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