Pet detective hot on missing chow's trail - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pet detective hot on missing chow's trail

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A University City couple has done all they can to find their missing dog, including hiring a pet detective and posting a $1,000 reward.

The four-year-old chow named Rachel was lost in the UTC area almost a month ago, but the owners continue to search. They hold on to hope of finding her with news that she may have been spotted overnight.

Every day for three weeks now, Justin Willey and his longtime girlfriend Lorrie Lopez search for their missing dog.

"It's really heartbreaking. I just cry almost every day. I just really want her back, and I really, really miss her," Lorrie said.

Rachel was playing with her owners in an empty parking lot March 19 when she suddenly ran off.

"A security guard drove by and scared her and she took off running down the street," Justin said.

Turns out Rachel is a very shy dog, and chasing her just made things worse -- she disappeared. Then a week later, a break -- Rachel was spotted in a parking lot near where she disappeared.

"A security guard called us around 8:30 at night and saw her in the parking lot sniffing around , maybe looking for food," Justin said.

Justin and Lorrie put up signs all over UTC and La Jolla and started a "Help Bring Rachel Home" Facebook page. Before they knew it, dozens of strangers were out looking for her. And to keep interest up, Justin and Lorrie are now offering a $1,000 reward.

"It's coming out of our savings. It's coming out of unfortunately (Lorrie's) engagement ring fund, a house, life we had planned together. But Rachel is part of our life," Justin said.

Their efforts seem to be paying off. Just yesterday they received four calls, all from the same area around UCSD.

"It's very exciting to us to think she's still alive and she's still in the area," Justin said.

Because Rachel is so shy, Justin and Lorrie are asking anyone who spots her to please call them instead of trying to catch her. The reward will still be yours. To them it's worth every penny.

"We're not going to give up until she's home," Justin said.

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