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Residents reunite with dog after 10-hour search

Pictured are firefighters from Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 70 with Charlie Fagan, a Wolf Coon Hound who went missing for approximately 10 hours on Thursday, July 17. Photos Submitted
Chris Bashaw, Assistant Editor
3:55 pm PDT July 21, 2014

Malibu resident Barry Fagan and his family had a happy homecoming with Charlie, their Wolf Coon Hound who went missing for approximately 10 hours on Thursday, July 17.

Fagan said Charlie was rescued by firefighters from Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 70 from atop a ridge near Pacific Coast Greens.

Fagan, a Malibu resident of 18 years, said he and his family were visiting his in-laws in the hills of Carbon Mesa when they noticed Charlie was missing.

“We knew within five minutes that he was gone and he must have jumped over something or gone through an open gate,” he said, conjecturing as to how Charlie may have become loose. “When hound dogs catch a scent, they really track that scent, so maybe that’s what he was doing.”

Fagan estimated that Charlie traversed approximately three miles of mountainous terrain over the course of eight to 10 hours before his rescue.

In the meantime, the Fagan family spared no time searching for Charlie and began making signs to help spread the word. Supplies and printing for the signs, Fagan said, were provided free of charge by Mailbox Businesses and Shipping at 22627 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

A resident who knew about Charlie’s disappearance and had heard a bark that sounded like the dog’s distinctive call alerted the family to Charlie’s location.

“To our amazement, we found Charlie, both exhausted and dehydrated and knew that he would have never made it out alive without being rescued,” Fagan said. “The firefighters said Charlie wouldn’t have survived the night because he would have likely been attacked by coyotes and my son thought for sure we were never going to find Charlie again, but it was just a great end of the day when we did.”

To express their gratitude, the Fagan family bought the firefighters D’Amore’s Pizza.

During a phone call on Friday, July 18, Fagan said Charlie and his family were enjoying a trip to Big Bear, where Charlie’s paws, with minor injuries, would enjoy some relief in the lake’s cold water.