Yet another dog lost in the dunes

January 05, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

While incidents involving humans in the Imperial Sand Dunes were kept to a minimum over the New Year's Eve break, people from out of town seem to be developing a knack for losing their dogs, and in one case, their iguana, while visiting the dunes.

Tom Sharkey, assistant dunes manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's El Centro field office, said Friday only five dogs were reported to his agency as missing in the dunes over the New Year period. This was 10 better than the number of dogs that went missing in the dunes over Thanksgiving.

Michael Sims and Karen Schoch of Los Angeles were camped at the Gecko Road campground in Glamis when a particularly loud round of fireworks caused Schoch's English mastiff puppy to bolt from their campsite.

The pup, Annabelle, tore loose from her collar and leash and disappeared into the night.

The couple is offering a $1,000 reward for her return. Annabelle is 7 months old, a light fawn/apricot color and has a black mask and tail. She weighs about 90 pounds.


Sims' pager number is (818) 410-3030.

Sharkey said the iguana, a large male with something of an "attitude," was recovered after three days of being lost in the dunes.

"In my six years with the agency, this is the first iguana we've had go missing out here. I'm amazed he survived so well," he said.

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles