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Search is on for dog China, missing 10 days

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

In the last 10 days, even in bitterly cold air and diminishing chances of success, Patricia Trevino and scores of other volunteers have desperately searched for China.

The female pit bull, who was rescued last month, has been missing since she ran off Feb. 3 from her foster home in Madison Heights.

Trevino’s River Rouge Animal Shelter, other rescue groups and dedicated pet lovers have spent the ensuing days combing the area for any sign of the canine.

“It’s just amazing to me how many people pulled together to help this dog,” Trevino said. “We were going door to door. We really want to find her really bad.”

A search party is scheduled to start 11 a.m Saturday at a shopping plaza near 12 Mile and Campbell in Madison Heights. A $400 reward also is being offered, and neighborhood residents are asked “to check their backyards, garages and sheds in case she is hiding out there,” Trevino said.

One afternoon last week, China left the Madison Heights home where she’d been for only a few days.

The dog had previously spent about three weeks at Trevino’s shelter after C.H.A.I.N.E.D. Inc., another rescue group, found her and another pit bull chained up in Ecorse.

China was initially scared of others — especially men — and found to have heartworm, Trevino said. To aid her treatment, the dog needed a quiet environment, so a foster home was found.

But while outside in the backyard Feb. 3 with her “foster dad,” Trevino said, “she got spooked by something and hopped the fence.”

Within an hour, the pup was spotted near 12 Mile and Stephenson. Trevino and others immediately began canvassing the area, with no luck.

Since then, other sightings have been reported nearby, Trevino said. But the closest sign came Thursday, when a bowl of dog food volunteers left earlier was empty and turned over, she said. “If we see paw prints, that gives us some clues that maybe she’s there.”

Trevino created a Facebook page and supporters are distributing fliers in a bid to spark interest. Search offers have poured in, but concern grows as temperatures drop dangerously low.

If someone finds China, “I think you would probably hear a collective scream by all these volunteers,” Trevino said. “It would be a miracle at this point.”

China is believed to be 2 or 3 years old. She weighs about 45 pounds, has gray and white fur, and was wearing a pink/gray collar with tags.

Anyone who has seen her is asked not to approach and call (313) 205-1732 or (586) 306-7926. More information also is available at