A Silver Creek couple and their family have received the news they were dreading.
Daughter Stefani Langenegger reports that the body of Grace, their eight-month-old Australian Kelpie dog, was found today, very close to the house.
Grace was Pat Campney and Steve Langenegger’s close companion and ranch helper on their Silver Creek farm where they have 150 cattle.
She went missing on Friday, March 3 from their farmyard and was the second dog they’d lost – Angus disappeared the same way a year earlier. They suspected both were stolen.
Stefani says there is no sign of injury and a post mortem examination will be performed.
A big hole has been left in the hearts and lives of a Silver Creek couple – for the second time.
On Friday, March 3, around noon, Pat Campney and Steve Langenegger’s beloved dog Grace disappeared from their yard. They haven’t seen her since.
The same thing happened to their last dog, Angus, who disappeared on a Friday in February a year ago, also around noon. They believe they were both stolen.
Both were purebred Australian Kelpies and working cattle dogs, although they were spayed and neutered so they couldn’t be used for breeding.
“It’s just like somebody stole a member of our family. It’s really tough,” Campney says, adding the dogs have been extremely valuable helpers, herding their 150 cattle who roam on 80 acres of land.
“They’re really smart, useful dogs. They can save the farmer hundreds of steps if you have a good one.”
Campney explains that her spouse, who’s nearing 80, and Grace, were good buddies.
“One other thing she is really good at, when Steve’s running around with the quad, she’d jump on back and go with him. She was his little companion.”
They called her: “Amazing Grace. Little amazing Grace.”
Campney is also in her seventies.
“We’re just a bunch of old crocks who should quit. We love our cows, especially Steve; those are his main concern.”
The couple is offering a $2,000 reward for Grace’s safe return. She is red and tan, eight months old, and was last seen in her farmyard near Edes Road in Silver Creek. Anyone with information is asked to call 250-832-6406.
Dan and Bonnie Baskill, who own the Blind Bay Resort, also know too well about stolen dogs. Their friendly two-year-old Lab-blue heeler cross, Bailey, was nabbed from their property in the spring last year, but they managed to get her back.
A friend saw Bailey’s photo on Vernon Buy and Sell, just a couple of hours after she disappeared. On the pretense of being an interested buyer, Baskill was able to set up a meeting in an Armstrong park with the woman selling their dog. Police followed them there but remained hidden.
A pregnant woman met them with her 10-year-old daughter and Bailey – sporting a different leash and collar. The dog leaped at Baskill, so happy to see him, to which the woman responded that the dog seemed to like him already.
The woman said she’d had the dog a long time, her rental place would no longer allow dogs, and her daughter was terribly upset at giving her up.
“I said the dog’s name is Bailey, and you stole her from us four hours ago,” recounts Baskill.
The woman maintained she did not take anyone’s dog, and said it was her girlfriend’s.
“She had a pat answer for everything.”
Baskill briefly spoke to the little girl, and said, “You know your mother took our dog. She said, ‘I know.’ She said, ‘We can never keep a dog.’”
Although Baskill was willing to press charges, police told him the costs of pursuing them would be about $3,500, compared to the $200 she was asking for the dog. Plus the evidence might not be enough for a conviction. Baskill says he doesn’t blame the police – “court costs just to watch them walk away” – and expects there are also other people and other ways animals are being stolen.
“We got our dog back, but only because our friends saw it in Vernon. We were very fortunate to get the dog back.”
A disappearing dog was also reported by Chase RCMP recently. On March 7, the detachment received a report that a six-month-old border collie/blue heeler pup was stolen from a residence on Silver Birch Lane in Pritchard.
A black Jeep Cherokee was observed near the driveway when the puppy disappeared.
Meanwhile in Silver Creek, Campney can’t believe this has happened twice. She is holding out hope that Grace will be found, after her devastating experience when their last dog disappeared.
“It just blows you away. I thought I’d hurt myself I was so angry and upset – I couldn’t get over being mad.”