SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — The Summit Lost Pet Rescue is off to a good start. The group conducted its first official mission days after its formal launch. The result — a four-legged happily reunited with its two-legged.

Sunday, a local woman named Karen lost control of her 15-pound mixed breed named Sunny near the summit of 13,204-foot Lenawee Mountain.

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Rescuers were dispatched at 7:30 p.m. believing they were looking for a missing person and quickly found Karen on Peru Creek Road. Mission complete.

Sort of.

Sunny, of course, was still unaccounted for.

Brandon Ciullo and Melissa Davis, the two lead members of the pet rescue team, sprang into action with a search team the next morning.

A dirt bike rider from Arvada, Ryan Weed, spotted Sunny at 2 p.m. and alerted SLPR volunteers who were posting ‘lost pet’ signs in the trailhead parking area.

An hour later, Sunny was back in Karen’s arms.

(credit: Summit County Rescue Group)

Summit Lost Pet Rescue received non-profit status June 11th.  It is an off-shoot of Summit County Rescue Group, the people-oriented rescue squad of which Ciullo and Davis are members.

They just happen to like animals. A lot.

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Enough, anyhow, to recognize a need.

“We’ve had people come up here from Denver, lose their dogs, and not know what to do,” Ciullo told CBS4. “There is a group of people dedicated to finding your dog.”

That often means taking over the search for a pet when the owner has to return to life’s other obligations.

“Rather than a bunch of people walking in the woods, we have strategies and tactics,” Ciullo said.

Ciullo spoke of a recent experience that did not turn out well because a Denver dog owner didn’t know about the organization left the area after losing his dog. The animal was later hit by a car on a highway.

“If only he had called Animal Control or reached out to us directly online, we could have helped him,” Ciullo said.

As it was, the non-profit paid for the animal’s cremation and presented the owner with its collar.

“We just want people to know about us.”

To learn more about the group, or to make a donation, visit them at https://www.lostpetrescue.org/ or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/summitlostpetrescue.

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