Ryan Needham and his fiancee, who live in Phelan, Calif., survived the terrible mass shooting in Las Vegas, but Needham’s beloved therapy dog went missing for a few days.
Needham is an owner of a concession company that had a booth at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Roulette, aka Rou, is a black French Bulldog who was with Needham’s fiancee as she worked there Sunday night. Needham was driving near the venue when the gunfire erupted. One of the employees opened Rou’s crate and tried to grab her, but the terrified dog wriggled away and ran off, getting lost in the crowd of 22,000 people also desperately trying to flee the area.
“There were so many people trying to get away, we didn’t know if she had been stepped on or hurt, or worse,” Needham told KABC. “It was just a horrible, horrible situation.”
— Reed Cowan (@ReedCowanTV) October 4, 2017
The couple remained in Las Vegas for a few days, desperately searching for Needham’s therapy dog. “We haven’t slept yet”, he told News 3.
As the news of Rou’s disappearance spread, thousands of people from around the world volunteered to do what they could to find her. Strangers created Facebook pages and posted the lost dog’s information online. “We never would have guessed so many people would have stepped forward to help,” Needham told KABC. “The best thing is it shows there are so many good people. So many people willing to try to help other people.”
Good news: Needham and his fiancee can now get some much-needed sleep. Their beloved Rou has been found alive and is now safely back at home in California with them.
Needham saw Rou running in a field next to the shooting site. “I jumped over the fence, I kneeled down, she ran and jumped into my arms!” he told News 3 this morning. (According to KABC, however, Rou was found inside an apartment complex. Needham believed she had been running back and forth from there to her crate in the concessions area, part of the crime scene that has been roped off by police. Either way, what’s important is that she was found alive.)
Rou lost some weight and appeared to be somewhat traumatized from her ordeal. Needham was thrilled she’s still alive.
“I’m so glad everybody’s spirits can be lifted by our dog’s story,” he told News 3. “Maybe it can help a little. This dog is a symbol of hope. She’s the new mascot for Vegas.”
Here’s information about how to help victims of the Las Vegas massacre.
Photo via PawBoost.com