ELKO — It had been a year since Cindy Danielson last saw Snakebite, when the animal control officer received a call about an injured dog by the Elko flagpole along Interstate 80.
“When I arrived at the flagpole, there he was,” Danielson wrote in a report. “It was Snakebite.”
Danielson has tracked Snakebite for the past six years, when his owners — who gave him the name — abandoned him outside Motel 6.
The Basset Hound mix never displayed any signs of aggression, but would frequently run into traffic, while eluding Animal Control officers every time.
Danielson set dog traps, planted treats and even attempted to use a tranquilizer gun, “but Snakebite was far too clever for any of this,” she said.
Danielson didn’t catch him at the flagpole either, despite approaching him.
“I attempted to get him to come to me with treats,” Danielson reported. “All he did was lift his nose to smell the treats and walk away. ... I again attempted to set a dog trap. Snakebite wouldn’t go near it.”
Danielson said the dog had a slight limp, but seemed to be in good condition.
On occasion, Danielson would place food out by the flagpole only to see it disappear the next day.
“Over the last three to four years, Snakebite resided at the flagpole, (and was) seen on the interstate from time to time,” she wrote.
Partner in crime
This past winter, Snakebite gained a friend. The unnamed dog, a possible Chow Chow and Border Collie mix, was also an escape artist, Danielson said.
“The dog had been seen on the interstate by (the Osino exit) and Nevada Highway Patrol, (Sheriff’s) deputies and county animal control had all attempted to catch him,” but to no avail, she wrote in the report.
In the summer, she found both Snakebite and his accomplice by the flagpole, lying in holes under the sage brush to avoid the heat.
Both dogs were shy, but friendly. They would often walk down to the football fields, where teams recognized them.
“They befriended some of the football teams ... and I know they get lots of hotdogs at the games.” Danielson said. “Some even call Snakebite their mascot.”
And so the game of cat-and-mouse continued, until the canine couple visited the Elko Head Start school on Silver Eagle Drive Tuesday. Employees contacted Animal Control.
“When I got there, I saw both of them being petted and I was like, ‘You have to be kidding me!’” Danielson said. “Finding them there, ready to be picked up, made me feel kind of foolish.
“One of the employees told me they were the sweetest dogs. Both of them came right up to me and were licking my hand and wagging their tails. They both allowed me to put leashes on them.”
Having captured the elusive dogs, Danielson placed them in the Elko Animal Shelter, where she hopes they will find a permanent home.
“Snakebite has had to fend for himself for too long, and he deserves a loving home,” she said. “Both dogs are awfully friendly for being on their own.”
Anyone interested in adopting one (or both) of the dogs, contact the shelter at 777-7333.