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Help Find Benson the Shar Pei in Huntington Beach, California

Call in sightings to 714-907-3370 or email
Call in sightings to 714-907-3370 or email
Elise Loden

Benson is a 2 year old, 70 pound black shar pei dog who has seen the worst that the human race has to offer and is understandably frightened and slow to trust. Cigar and cigarette burns are evidence of the abuse that he has suffered at the hand of humans prior to his recent rescue from the high kill Devore shelter in California. But his story doesn’t end there, this poor boy is now running loose once again. After being under the care of Huntington Pet Vet for 2 days, he escaped from that vet’s facility because they opened a door while his cage was being opened. He is now running stray in Huntington Beach in a dangerous, high traffic area. He has been failed by humans too many times, please help us help Benson so that he may begin a new and brighter future.

His timeline is as follows:

  1. On May 28, 2014, he was found in Highland as a stray in a field and picked up by Devore shelter. Devore is a high kill shelter in southern California and because of Benson's fearfulness, he was marked rescue only and scheduled to be killed on June 2.
  2. On June 2, 2014, he was saved by his angels at Chinese Shar Pei Network, Inc just in the nick of time. Under the loving care of that rescue in Mira Loma, California, he was given time to decompress and learn to trust. He began to make friends with the boarding staff and gave kisses! He began to trust the volunteers. He was making progress and plans for his training and further rehabilitation were being discussed. He was taken to get his shots in a crate without problem. The rescue felt he was too scared to go in for neuter without a sedative, so it was decided that he should go to a vet who had the facilities to keep him overnight to avoid any problems.
  3. On July 23, he was taken to Huntington Pet Vet in Huntington Beach California to be neutered and mircrochipped. Because of his fear, he was taken to the vet in a crate to ensure that he wouldn’t escape. The volunteer who dropped him off informed the staff that he should be handled carefully as he was fearful and a flight risk. She also said that he was fearful of leashes.
  4. On July 25, he was on the docket to be neutered, so he was not given food or water anytime after 8 pm the previous night. That morning, while the vet tech was trying to transfer him from his cage, Benson got scared and bolted as soon as his cage was opened. While Benson was running from his enclosure, another vet tech was opening the back door to walk another dog. Benson escaped from Huntington Pet Vet through that open door the morning of Friday July 25, 2014. The vet staff did give chase initially, but did not follow through. The vet office called the rescue and left a voicemail saying to call about Benson. The rescue called within the hour and left a voicemail saying that a volunteer would be by to pick Benson up on Sunday and to call if any problems. The vet office did not call back and the rescue was not informed of his escape.
  5. On Sunday July 27, a volunteer arrived at Huntington Pet Vet to pickup Benson and only then was she informed that Benson had escaped two days prior! The rescue immediately created flyers and posts and ads and contacted local shelters and police. The search for Benson began.
  6. On Wednesday July 30, the OC Register ran a story to help find Benson.. Fortunately, the local community, led by Huntington Beach Lost & Found Pets, has rallied to lead the search. The local rescue community has been helpiing non-stop. Printech in Huntington Beach donated 200 flyers and volunteers have been posting them.

Benson is terrified and rightfully so. There have been daily sightings of him in this area and there is a team of wonderful rescue people helping. The latest sigbting was last night at 11:30 pm near Springdale & Slater (Central Park). As of this writing, July 31, Benson has been fending for himself, without food or water in a high-traffic area for 7 days!!! Volunteers have been leaving water and food out for him in areas where he has been sighted, but due to his fear, he changes locations quickly. Thus far he has eluded capture.

If you see Benson, please call 714-907-3370 or email For your safety and his, please do not call Benson or try to catch him, just call in your sighting and take pictures if you can. If you are experienced with large bully breed dogs in high stress situations, then please join the search team. Huntington Beach Lost & Found Pets is to be commended for their selfless vigilance in heading up the search for Benson. If you are in the area, volunteers are still needed to hang the flyers donated by The flyers can be picked up at Huntington Beach Veterinary Hospital (724 E. Utica Ave Huntington Beach, CA) until 6pm - THIS IS NOT THE VET WHO LOST HIM!!

Please keep Benson in your prayers - we are praying for his safe return. If you would like to help his 501c3 rescue, please go to to make a tax-deductible donation (100% volunteer and 100% of funds go to the care of deathrow and homeless shar pei and pei-mix). Thank you and rescue on!

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