We find Bubbles the Chihuahua 17 days after non-stop searching. He took a heavy head-on collision at the intersection of Huka Falls Road and Thermal Explorer Highway in Taupō.
Her owner, Faye Emery, admitted him to Waikato Hospital after the dog jumped from the vehicle.
Bubbles had been lost in the bush ever since.
But on Sunday afternoon, Bubbles was sighted on the same road as the accident, and searcher Ken Moody was successful in finally grabbing her.
“She was last sighted 13 days ago,” Moody said.
“When she was seen earlier today, I was contacted straight away. I shot down to where she was, calmed her down, gave her water from my hands, and then pulled her out of some black bush.”
Bubbles were taken straight to Vetora Taupō, where she is being treated for dehydration and superficial eye ulcers.
“She has chronic conjunctivitis, but other than that, she’s fine,” vet Jessica Johnson said.
“She’s being treated with IV fluids and carefully given food until her tummy can handle it properly. She will be here for a couple of days. We need to correct the dehydration slowly.”
Emery’s grandson, Aaron Milne, has made many trips to Taupō from Auckland over the past 17 days joining in on the search parties for Bubbles.
He received one phone call.
On Sunday, he received that one phone call that led to her reuniting with her family.
“I asked them to take a photo, and it looked like Bubbles. I got a bit excited and rung Ken straight away. We needed to get people there straight away,” he said.
About 20 people turned up at the spot where Bubbles was sighted, and all did their part to ensure she was captured this time.
“It’s just amazing. We are so overwhelmed by how many people came in and offered to help,” Milne said.
“Not just with the search – there was even a lady who offered free dry cleaning for those searching.”
Milne said that his nan Faye was very emotional and couldn’t wait to be with her beloved pooch again.
Many searches for Bubbles have been organized since she went missing after the January 18 crash.
Moody said they set traps and went trekking at night with thermal imaging and night vision goggles.
Searchers laid out the car seat covers from the vehicle and pieces of clothing belonging to Emery – all hoping to find and catch Bubbles.
“It’s just amazing what a bit of willpower can do,” Moody said.
Bubbles’ owner and her family have been notified and are currently on their way to Taupō.