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A Dog Walker Has Gone Missing And During The Search, Rescuers Stumbled Upon Something Unbelievable.

Dog walker Annette Poitras is known throughout her community. She was having an ordinary November day walking her three dogs in the Canadian wilderness until the weather became treacherous and things took a drastic turn for the worse.

After she didn’t return home, her husband Marcel was worried and he called the police, resulting in a search and rescue mission to find the dog walker and the dogs.

Image via @AnnettesDoggieDaycare/Facebook

When they finally found the group three days later, rescuers came across something they had never seen before.

Typical Day

56-year-old Annette Poitras built a reputation in her community thanks to her love for dog walking and she managed to make a career out of it. She was familiar with the nearby hiking trails, especially the paths around Coquitlam’s Eagle Mountain, and she would spend her days walking her dogs there.

Image via @Annette Poitras Collins/Facebook

Monday, November 20 started off like any other day and Annette was headed out to Eagle Mountain with her three dogs, but things were about to be anything but typical.

Heading Out

As the dog walker did almost any other day, she headed out on a walk with three dogs: her dog, a Collie named Chloe, and two of her client’s dogs: a Puggle named Bubba and a Boxer named Roxy. And before heading out the door on her walk, Annette said goodbye to her husband Marcel.

The dog walker had only planned on being gone for about an hour, and like she usually did—she didn’t tell her husband where she was headed to. But when lots of time passed and she didn’t return home, her husband started to worry.

Image via @AnnettesDoggieDaycare/Facebook

What could possibly be taking her so long?

Stormy Weather

For Marcel, time was passing by so slowly and it was starting to get dark. But Annette still hadn’t returned home and he was getting more and more worried. He couldn’t help but wonder where she was and what was taking her so long.

His anxieties were only worsened when the weather took a turn for the worse and a storm called Pineapple Express came in, bringing massive rainfall.

Image via @Marcel Poitras/Facebook

His wife was still out there and it was dark and stormy—the weather conditions were not safe for anyone. Why hadn’t Annette returned home?

Concerned Husband

So, when she still hadn’t returned home by nighttime, Marcel went to the area where she usually went walking and he found something that could give him a clue about her whereabouts—her van. But the van was empty—Annette was nowhere to be seen.

Image via @AnnettesDoggieDaycare/Facebook

After not hearing from his wife and finding her empty van, Marcel contacted the authorities to let them know that Annette hadn’t returned home from her walk earlier that day and that she was missing.

Search and Rescue

From there, a plan was made by the Royal Mounted Police and the Coquitlam Search and Rescue Team (SAR). Marcel did his best to help in the search, telling them the areas that she frequented, but there was only so much he could do—the wilderness was huge and there was no way to limit the search.

They were looking for anything—a cellphone, articles of clothing, dog leashes. But they came up empty.

Image via @CoquitlamSAR/Twitter

What’s worse is the storm was getting worse and there was still no word from Annette. Things weren’t looked good for the dog walker, or the dogs for that matter.

Sound Sweep

After receiving a call from the concerned husband, SAR set up a command center on Westwood Plateau. They were ready to get the search underway and they needed to move quickly because the area around the plateau consisted of many trails and it was getting dark outside.

And so, SAR started their search with a technique known as a “sound sweep”, which used

whistles to make noise in hopes of getting the dog walker or the dogs’ attention. They also used search dogs from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Image via @AnnettesDoggieDaycare/Facebook

But after the first night, they came up empty. They didn’t find Annette or the dogs. And time was of the essence.

At daylight of day 2, the SAR team continued their search. But they would need more manpower because the storm had gotten worse, making it hard to hear the whistles.

By this point, over 100 rescuers were involved and it was time to increase the search efforts with helicopters.

The search and rescue team were getting exhausted and the severe weather conditions weren’t making things easier. 24 hours had passed since Annette vanished and there was still no word from her.

Screenshot via NEWS 1130/YouTube

But they weren’t going to give up that easily. Annette’s life depended on them.

Increasing Manpower

SAR scoured every known and newly-discovered trail in Eagle Mountain. They had over 100 rescuers and helicopters and they were now focusing their efforts on the sky and land.

Screenshot via Vancouver Sun/YouTube

While search and rescuers were looking for Annette on land by foot, an Air One police helicopter was busy scanning the area from the sky with a thermal imaging camera, hoping to detect body heat from Annette or the dogs.



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