Yellowstone: Las Vegas Family's Dog Lost For Over Two Weeks

Yellowstone: Las Vegas Family’s Dog Lost For Over Two Weeks

Written by on July 8, 2021

After days without a sighting and failed attempts by park rangers to capture it, a family dog may be hopelessly lost somewhere in Yellowstone National Park.

For the past two weeks, members of the Facebook group “yellowstone National Park” have been following the tragedy of Delta, the dog. After getting “lost” in the park in late June, it seems there’s little home the family pet will make it home.

On June 24, group member Mike Matsis of Las Vegas, Nevada posted about his missing pet. Delta is a 70-pound black Goldendoodle described as “skittish and scaredy-cat.”

According to Matsis’s account, Delta went missing at the Artist’s Paint Pots at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 22. However, Matsis does not go into detail on exactly what led up to Delta’s disappearance.

missing Yellowstone dog

Courtesy Mike Mattis

Matsis asked the group’s members to contact him or the Yellowstone Rangers District if they saw Delta roaming in the park.

The original post has over 170 shares and over 600 reactions – but no comments. Administrators of the Facebook group turned off the option for comments, likely due to the group’s reaction.

The next update came on June 30. Matsis posted about visitors reporting daily sightings of Delta while also asking those visitors “not chase her in the field or yell for her” due to her skittishness around people.

Rangers were trying to trap the dog, and Matsis apparently recruited a team of dog rescuers to assist in the effort. In addition, Matsis said he and his family were living in the park until Delta was safely returned.

The park’s efforts to capture the dog were confirmed by Linda Veress, a Public Information Specialist at Yellowstone. In a statement issued to For The Win Outdoors on Tuesday, June 29:

“Rangers are aware that a dog has been on the loose. They are watching for it and trying to catch it while responding to a variety of other incidents and visitor needs.”

Unfortunately, the next update was less optimistic on Delta’s return to her family. And the clock is ticking . . .

On July 4 – the most recent update – Matsis said there hadn’t been a sighting of the black Goldendoodle for three days prior. So once again, he asked anyone who’s spotted the dog to let him know but not attempt to call or approach her.

The unspoken implication is the limited amount of time available to capture Delta and return her home safely. The longer the dog is in the park, the more likely it is she may fall victim to one of the park’s many territorial predators like wolves and coyotes.

Yellowstone National Park has several strict regulations when it comes to the conduct and handling of pets within the park:

  • Pets may only accompany people in developed areas and must remain within 100 feet of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds.
  • Pets must be physically controlled at all times: they must be in a car, in a crate, or on a leash no more than six feet long.
  • Pets are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or thermal areas.
  • Pets may not be left unattended or tied to an object.
  • Pets may not be left in a situation where food, water, shade, ventilation, and other basic needs are inadequate. Pets may remain in vehicles for short periods of time, but we recommend that someone stay behind to ensure their wellbeing.
  • Owners must bag and dispose of pet waste.

As of Wednesday, July 7, Matsis has posted no additional updates on the search for his dog, Delta.

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