Auburn police take in lost dog on Christmas Eve

'Picasso' picked up near Auburn Ravine Road, owner being sought
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A


A new body has been making the rounds at the Auburn Police Department since Christmas Eve, getting to know the dispatchers, detectives and volunteers.

Reports indicate that he’s “cute as a bug,” “more male-friendly” and possibly needs a pedicure. As much as staff likes him, they hope he’s gone soon, leaving his temporary cage there for his true home.

“We’ve done everything we possibly can do for this dog … and he’s a great little dog,” dispatcher Lois Montgomery said of the Yorkshire Terrier that the office took in after it had been reported loose around the Auburn Palms Senior Citizens Apartments on Auburn Ravine Road.

“It’s just sad, because I believe he belongs to some elderly person, because that’s all senior housing over there, and to lose your dog on Christmas Eve and be without him on Christmas Day is just sad.”

On Wednesday, police staff were still hoping to hear from his rightful owner.

On Christmas Eve, a caller from Grass Valley reported seeing the Yorkshire Terrier at 3:30 p.m. With a downpour beginning and the animal shelters closed, Montgomery asked if the caller could bring the pup in, as officers were busy at the time.

He arrived wet and shivering, so they dried him off, warmed him up, fed him and checked him for a microchip and looked at the collar for a name, finding neither, Montgomery said. They believe the dog is a year to 18 months old.

To say Montgomery is a dog person may be an understatement. She said she owns seven – six Rottweilers and one Lakeland Terrier – and she also shows and trains dogs.

Naturally, she said she already taught the Yorkie to sit on command. Most of the time, at least.

They call him Picasso, the name he was given by Det. Dave Neher, who reportedly has most taken to the dog.

“I’m a pet detective; call me Ace,” Neher joked, referencing Jim Carrey’s role in the 1990s comedy.

Why “Picasso?”

“He just looks like a Picasso, it looks like a fitting name for him,” he said. “He brings a little holiday joy. He’s a nice little dog, he’s friendly.”

They keep a dog kennel at the department for the occasion that patrol picks one up when animal control officers are unavailable overnight, shelters are closed and the owner can’t be found, he said.

“We can hold them in the department overnight where it’s warm and give them some food and water and until the shelter opens in the morning, we can drop them off,” Neher said.

Montgomery has been working the phones trying to find Picasso’s owner.

“I checked licenses issued for Yorkies in the city of Auburn, checked anything on Auburn Ravine road, left messages for several people that did have Yorkies to see if they were missing, every Yorkie was accounted for,” she said. “Then we posted him on our Facebook page.

“This morning I called every apartment complex, every senior apartment complex in the area, there’s about 10 of them, called the veterinary clinics to see if anyone had reported it.”

Paula Leahy, a department volunteer, said she would likely take Picasso home Wednesday night and if the owner is not found, the dog will be placed in a rescue group. Leahy is the cofounder of Angels Rescuing Animals, an Auburn-based rescue group that takes in dogs at risk of being put down, she said.

The owner can contact Auburn police dispatch at (530) 823-4234.


Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews