Victoria canine reunited with homeowners after working away through the assault

Rebecca Ellis and Alex Painter were about to continue their search for their missing dog Tuesday night when they received a call from the Hollywood Crescent area that she had been found.

The two-year-old pit bull disappeared on Friday when a man hit a hammer on the window of his van while it was parked on Pembroke Street. Camper and Ellis were in the vehicle around 8 p.m. when the attack occurred.

They both jumped out of the vehicle, but Camper was separated from Ellis.

However, four days later, “We got a call from a really nice lady who said Camper had just wandered into her yard and followed another dog home,” Painter said.

He said Camper has lost a few pounds since she disappeared and her paws seem a bit sore, but otherwise she is fine.

“That was an instant relief,” he said. “As soon as we got there, she came over and hugged us both the most.”

Ellis said Camper – who was taken to a vet for a checkup – was back to normal, although “just a little tired” and very hungry.

“She got a lot of goodies, a lot of food,” she said. “We’re trying to distribute their food.”

A 40-year-old Edmonton man was arrested in the van attack and later released on a court date and terms. He is facing charges of assault with a gun and mischief.

Camper’s disappearance sparked a search by Ellis and Painter that unearthed strangers and volunteers from the reunion owners with missing animals and searching for lost and escaped dogs.

“The response from the community as well as from ROAM and FLED was amazing.”

Both Ellis and Painter recently moved to town and said the people made them quite welcome. The same goes for Camper, a rescue dog from Saskatchewan. “It’s really great to come to Victoria and be part of such a supportive community now.”

The bitch got her name because of her personality. Painter said a woman she first met said she was “the happiest camper in the building”.

Ellis joked that there is now a different reason for the name.

“She camped for five days.”

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