A man who had been searching for his missing pet learned several days later that a transient had taken the dog to Colorado.
Clint Motte said he returned home the night of Dec. 30 to find Cali, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, had vanished from his fenced-in backyard.
"She usually comes to the door, barks when she wants to come in, and she never did that," Motte said.
Motte expanded his search to social media, where he began to receive several tips about a transient man walking around Price with the dog.
One tip seemed particularly promising, that the man and dog had actually traveled to Grand Junction.
"There was a gentleman that had laid claim to her, claiming it was his dog," Motte said of the tip.
Motte called Price City Police Department, which immediately began working with its counterpart in Grand Junction.
"I had several addresses of places he could be," Motte said.
Capt. Bill Barnes said officers eventually located the man, who is considered a resident of Price but is known by the police departments in both cities. Police arranged a meeting between the man and Motte, and Motte was able to recover Cali and bring her home.
"None of his stories matched up," Motte said of the man's claims. "He was just going back and forth."
The man claimed to simply have found the dog, Barnes said. Whether the man took Cali from Motte's yard, Barnes added, or whether he in fact found the dog, he should have made efforts to find the rightful owner.
"You can't just keep found property," Barnes said.
Barnes said investigators contacted the dog's breeder in California and were able to verify the rightful ownership through an implanted chip.
Motte said he was leery of the man's intentions.
"My thought is he was eventually going to sell her," he said.
Barnes said the case had been handed over to the Carbon County Attorney's Office for screening. Motte said he was grateful for the help he received from the community and from police.
"It makes you cautious," Motte said. "(Dogs) are a part of your family and it's devastating when you lose them."
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