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Search still on for canine survivor of Green Acre boarding facility tragedy

Professional dog trackers continue to trace scents of Valor. Everyone is hoping this dog is soon found alive and well.
Bring Valor Home Facebook page

Zack and Heather Wicker continue to search for their two-year-old Belgian Malinois named Valor, who is still missing after the June 21 Green Acre Dog Boarding tragedy. Twenty dogs perished that night after an investigation revealed that one of the dogs had chewed through the wall and an electrical wire; causing the air conditioning to shut off.

According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, 28 dogs were kept in a 10x10 laundry room. One of the Wickers' dogs, Remington, died that night, however their other dog escaped and according to the family and witnesses, has been sighted roaming the areas of Greenfield, Ocotillo and Val Vista.

A Facebook page appropriately titled Bring Valor Home reported on Sunday night of the progress stating:

"...Zachary got home last night and spent hours laying a scent trail near home in the fields north of Bella Vista along Gantzel. We are really hoping Valor will find that scent, so we would like everyone to take the night off from any searching. Spend some time with the kids and pets, take a breather and get ready to face the new week. If anything truly new and urgent comes along, you'll see it here right away. The Wickers wish to thank everyone who has searched, placed flyers, talked to businesses and folks on the street and all the other things that will #BringValorHome!!"

Tracking experts feel the dog has covered over 35 miles. The family has hired tracking dogs while dozens of volunteers continue the search. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office sent out deputies and the agency helicopter to help with the search.

According to, Steven Hoeft, the father of Zack Wicker stated:

"That gives everyone a lot of comfort and when he's finally found I think there's going to be just an outpouring of relief. I really think that's when the healing starts."

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, well-known to be a passionate animal lover, has been criticized for using the sheriff's department helicopter and sending deputies out to help. In a statement from his office, the sheriff replied:

"Some people may criticize me for going to these lengths to find this dog, but after what this community has been through with this awful situation at the boarding facility, if we can find one canine survivor, we'll all feel a lot better."

Valor is described as looking more like a husky and shepherd mix; he is black and tan with a fluffy tail. If anyone sees this dog, please call the Maricopa Sheriff's Office Animal Crimes Unit at (602)-876-1011.

There have not been any criminal charges levied against the kennel owners, Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, nor the caretakers of the facility and the dogs that evening, Logan and Austin Flake.

The families involved are likely to bring civil lawsuits against the owners of the facility, but hope even more to change the laws governing boarding facilities so that tragedies like this will never happen again.

Let's bring Valor home.

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