Dog spotted near Saskatoon with porcupine quills in face inspires two rescue efforts

·3 min read
Luna the pitbull was first spotted with porcupine quills in her face at Cranberry Flats, near Saskatoon. After being caught, helped and adopted, she ran away, sparking a second rescue effort. (Submitted by  Crystal Kautzman - image credit)
Luna the pitbull was first spotted with porcupine quills in her face at Cranberry Flats, near Saskatoon. After being caught, helped and adopted, she ran away, sparking a second rescue effort. (Submitted by Crystal Kautzman - image credit)

A white pitbull spotted wandering around Cranberry Flats near Saskatoon ended up inspiring two rescue efforts.

It began when people started posting on a local lost and found Facebook page about spotting the dog wandering around with quills in its face. A group of 12 to 14 people connected through the page with the aim of capturing the dog.

"This dog didn't deserve to just be out there, and to this day we don't know what happened, if she was dumped or what … it just didn't sit right with me," said Debbie Altrogge, a member of the group.

The group began to set live traps hoping to entice the dog, later named Luna by her foster, with dog food, treats and steak, but they didn't work.

The group then set an even bigger trap and lured Luna inside, but she bit through zip ties and escaped.

It wasn't until a member of the group brought chicken and hand fed Luna that any progress was made. The member was finally able to get a leash on Luna.

The group decided to give the dog to Crystal Kautzman, who fosters dogs for New Hope Dog Rescue, a Saskatoon non-profit focused on finding homes for dogs in need.

Kautzman took Luna in after assessing her. Luna went through two surgeries to have the porcupine quills removed from her face.

A foster family was found for Luna, but only two and a half hours after she was adopted, Kautzman received word that Luna was missing.

Debbie Altrogge
Debbie Altrogge

The foster family's eight-year-old daughter was walking Luna when something scared the dog. Luna bolted.

A search party formed. A $400 reward was offered.

Kautzman said she didn't think they were going to find her alive.

Four days later, as Kautzman was hanging up posters, she received a call from Cheyanne Tilton, who said she had found Luna.

Kautzman said seeing Luna again felt like something out of a movie. They met in the middle of the street and Luna leaped into her arms. Kautzman dropped on the road and embraced Luna for a couple of minutes.

"I couldn't even stand, I was just shaking, I was so overcome with emotion," she said, adding that finding Luna felt like winning the lottery.

Tilton told Kautzman that three boys had actually found Luna while playing in an alley. Tilton saw the boys with the dog and noticed there was a number on its collar.

Tilton said being able to help the dog reunite with it's foster mom was a beautiful feeling.

"It was an amazing experience, it was just so sweet how she grabbed her dog," she said.

Submitted by Crystal Kautzman
Submitted by Crystal Kautzman

Kautzman immediately handed over $100 from her wallet to Tilton. After getting permission from the boys' parents, she bought them dinner with some of the reward money.

Once people found out the people who found Luna didn't even know there was a reward, they ended up donating even more money, raising the total to $700.

Kautzman bought the kids toys and a gift card with the rest of the reward money. She also gave Tilton a gift card.

While Luna was missing, Kautzman found out that the foster family would no longer be able to care for the dog.

Luna is now back living with Kautzman and is up for adoption.

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