Help find a missing service dog

Bentley BodyThe owner of a dog lost in the Eastern Sierra needs your help:

Bentley is my service dog. We came out here to Mammoth and left our dog with a dog walker. We got a phone call around 9AM from the dog walker letting me know he had jumped out of his truck around Antelope Valley Rd. near Inyo National Forest. He took him up to hike up a trail, and claims my dog jumped out. He is a very friendly dog. He just might be a little spooked since he has been lost since this morning Saturday, March 29th. Bentley is a white pitbull mix with brown spots and has his tags on him. A California shaped tag (his assistance dog license) and a Santa Barbara County tag. If anyone has any information or has found my dog, please contact Stephanie at (805) 651-0516. $1000 reward. Owner desperately needs her dog. Thank you


104 Responses to Help find a missing service dog

  1. Kevin McDavid March 30, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    California vehicle code requires dogs to be restrained if riding in the back of pickup trucks specifically to keep incidents like this from happening. I truly hope Bentley is found safe and sound but the dog walker should be cited/fined for his careless transporting.

    • Pam Barker March 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Bentley wasn’t riding in the back of a truck. He jumped out of the front seat of the car when the door was opened and bolted.

    • Lyn April 1, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      It was a Suburban.

    • Lyn April 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      You, quite simply, don’t have a clue what you are talking about. How dare you.

    • Jeff April 11, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      He was in a suv not a pickup truck

  2. Tinner March 30, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I sure do get annoyed when people lie. Service dogs DO NOT go out on walks with some dog walker that one may find on the internet, in fact they are rarely off leash.
    I will still go out there and look for this dog for sure today when I get off work.

    • Stephanie March 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      I am Bentley’s owner. He is in fact a Service Dog, and TRUST me, I too get very offended with those who try to pass their dog off as a Service Dog to enjoy the benefits and treatment they receive. I suffer from a debilitating disability and its severity qualifies me to have an assistance dog which is covered by the ADA. I have a doctor’s note for him and he passed his Service Dog assistance exam (county certified), which is why he has an assistance tag on him at all times. If you would like me to fax you a copy of his papers to prove to you, I will be more than happy to do so. Service Dogs are not limited to seeing eye/deaf impairments, they are available for those who fit the requirements under ADA law. People with disabilities still have the right to go out and enjoy themselves on a vacation and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to snowboard the day he was lost, but had to drop everything to spend the entire day looking for him. This gentleman wasn’t just “some dog walker”, this dog walker has the highest reviews in town and when we met him his confidence won us completely over. Bentley is not only a service dog to me, but he is my family. Please have some respect.

      • Gretchen March 31, 2014 at 11:13 am #

        Stephanie (dog owner) is correct Tinner. I am a special needs educator and I am versed in the laws under ADA. I am so sorry that your dog was not restrained properly in the car. I hope he is found soon.

        All my best

    • Wayne Deja March 31, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Tinner……Service dogs are still dogs….you have no business calling anyone a liar or telling anyone how to use or train their animal…especially an owner of a service dog……anyway,hope this good dog is found….

    • Pam Barker March 31, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      Let’s just work on getting him back!

  3. Stephanie March 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Thank you Sierra Wave for posting this!

  4. Pam Mowat March 31, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    I have been watching out for Bentley in the area he went missing since I heard about this on Saturday. I take my dogs to this same area three times a day. I sincerely hope Bentley is found and I will continue to watch out for him. So sad.

  5. andrew March 31, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Sounds like a horrible choice of dog sitters, beautiful dog hope he is found.

    • Desert Tortoise March 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      How does someone give Andrews comment a thumbs down?

    • Pam Barker March 31, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      I truly believe it was not the dog walker’s fault. Things happen sometimes, and it isn’t anyone’s fault. Dogs act unpredictably and only hindsight can remedy that.

      • Terry April 1, 2014 at 7:47 am #

        Pam- Dogs do act unpredictably so someone entrusted to care for the dog should be prepared accordingly by having the dog leashed before the door is open. There is nobody else to blame except the “dog walker”, so that person needs to accept full responsibility if they have not already done so.

        • Stephanie April 1, 2014 at 9:08 am #

          Thank you so much Terry! I really didn’t want to say anything to spark a debate because truly the only thing I care about every waking moment is getting my boy back, but you are absolutely right. The fact that the dog-walker told me “I don’t really feel that responsible, but I do feel bad” is unacceptable to me.

          I feel if the shoe was on the other foot and their dog was the one that was lost, they would be singing a different tune entirely. Also, I mentioned he was a Service Dog, not to further “annoy” people as Tinner put it, but to express how much Bentley is needed. Again, he isn’t just a member of my family, he is of great Service to me when medically needed.

        • Pam Barker April 1, 2014 at 11:17 am #

          Bentley was leashed, and may still be dragging one.

        • Lyn April 1, 2014 at 11:51 am #

          The dog was leashed before the door was opened. I wish people would not be so quick to judge without knowing the facts. Blame who you wish if that makes you feel better, but better to concentrate your thoughts on the well-being of Bentley.

          • Terry April 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

            “Lyn”- Of course the thoughts are focused on Bentley’s safe return but I’m tired of people like the “dog walker” not taking responsibility and doing what Stephanie describes as shrugging it off. You and Pam are clearly connected in someway to the person who had been responsible for Bentley’s care so making excuses for the walker are wearing thin.

          • Lyn April 2, 2014 at 8:01 am #

            So are your opinions, Terry. You do not know the situation; you are forming opinions based on emotions. The dog walker is hardly “Shrugging it off off”. To state this is to be ignorant. You have no idea of the entire scenario. And yes, I am connected to the dog walker and I know his heart – which you do not.

    • Lyn April 1, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      I think you should think and get facts before being so quick to judge.

      • Pam April 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

        Terry, the only way I am connected to the dog walker is with trying to find Bentley. I’m tired of all the negative dialog at this point.

      • Pam April 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

        Terry, you clearly don’t know the facts. We really could use some help looking for this dog, if you have the time.

  6. bee March 31, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Hi! Has Bentley been found? If not I can go look today. Is this the antelope valley road across 395 were the chalk mine is?

    • Stephanie March 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Yes, Bee around that area. Sadly, Bentley has not been found yet.

      • C J April 1, 2014 at 1:10 am #

        Do you mean Antelope SPRINGS Rd….? And where did the dog jump out? That road goes for miles …..

        • Cynthia April 1, 2014 at 9:37 am #

          C J, the day Bentley was lost, my family and I came out to help Stephanie look for him. We came across the dog walker twice to ask him the exact spot where Bentley jumped out, however, he was not giving a clear answer. All I really got out of him was that he kept trying to blame the dog, he spent all this energy and breath trying to blame the dog instead of being useful and pointing us in the general direction of where he left the door open and Bentley jumped out.

          Unfortunately, at this point I believe Bentley could have traveled far distances from the spot(s) where the dog walker claimed he lost him. No matter where we stopped and got out of our truck to look, we could hear gun shots from the shooting ranges. When taking gun shots into consideration and a lost scared dog, one can imagine he’d want to get as far away as possible … assuming his leash didn’t get caught on a branch or something.

          Let’s all try to keep positive though, the point of this is to FIND Bentley, a loved family member and a very important assistant to an individual who suffers from a debilitating disability. If you want more information on the location where he was lost, you can try contacting the dog walker as well, his name is Buck and the phone number he gave us permission to pass out was (760) 934-2716.

  7. Desert Tortoise March 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    A job for Tara?

    • Reality Check March 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Tara finds illegal drugs, not other dogs.

      • Desert Tortoise April 1, 2014 at 9:03 am #

        Chill out. I know that. It was an attempt at some levity. How cute would it be for a dog like Tara who is a trained service dog if you think about it, helping to find another service dog who has been lost. . Now sit still while I swat your nose with a rolled up newspaper. Baaaaaddd.

  8. Stephanie March 31, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Here is a link of another picture I took of Bentley when he received his county certified Assistance Animal tag. In case anyone happens to just find his collar, or if anyone finds a Santa Barbara license tag, please call Santa Barbara Animal Control to report at 805-681-5285. Unfortunately I’ve had some questions with the legitimacy of my Service Dog, so if you have any questions in that regard please contact SB Animal Control and produce Service Tag number in photo and ask for a description. Thank you.

  9. jamie reeves March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    So sorry for he loss of such an important friend/family member 🙁 I sure do hope he returns/is returned to you soon. Has there been any sightings?! Anything? Ive informed some of my family in the area of the situation and they agreed to keep an eye out for bentley. may luck be on yours and Bentleys side. So sorry again.

    • Stephanie March 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      Thank you Jaime. As far as I know I believe the dog walker was the last to see him. I haven’t heard of any sightings or news yet.

  10. Amy March 31, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Our dog was also lost in the area-by a different dog sitter. I hope Bentley is found soon.

    • Concerned April 2, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      Was your dog found?? I hope so! If so, how long was it out there?

  11. bee March 31, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Lookd for three hours today and no luck. Some friends are going to look tomorrow.

  12. Stephanie March 31, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    I really cannot thank you all enough, everyone who has been looking for Bentley and getting the word out. You have no idea how much this means to me, and I greatly appreciate all the efforts. Thank you, thank you!!

  13. Pam Barker March 31, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    We’ll keep looking Stephanie. Keep the faith! The last dog that was lost in the area was found after 3 weeks, skinny, but safe.

  14. sugar magnolia April 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    some more specifics on where he was last seen would help. Antelope Springs Road is in Little antelope Valley. I think of it as being near the geothermal plant and you can take it over to Owens River Road area. We certainly would have a better chance of finding him if the walker would say what part of the road he was on.

    Was he near where hot creek joins the Owens? or more north towards the chalk bluffs area? I’d be willing to drive the area today, but need more to go on.

    • Stephanie April 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner Sugar, I was ill all day today. When I spoke w/ the dog walker, he told me he was at Little San Antonio St or Rd (I can’t remember). We tried to google it but couldn’t find the street. We were left with no other choice but to wait for Buck to meet us at Antelope Springs Rd. because this was my first time in Mammoth and I had no idea where he was talking about. He asked my partner to stay behind while he took me to the spot where he told me Bentley was at and honestly I wasn’t paying attention to where he was making turns because it seemed like we were going in circles, but I was looking out the window, screaming Bentley’s name. We drove around and looked for a good 20 min. until I met up with my partner and her family to continue the search. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but at this point he could’ve gone very far away from the city with the shooting range close by. All morning and afternoon people were shooting, with some blasts being only 2-3 seconds apart. That definitely would’ve made Bentley run far away. I’m sorry, I wish I was given useful information.

  15. Stephanie April 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Is there a thread limit? I posted earlier to thank a helping resident this morning, but it’s not showing up.

    • Benett Kessler April 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

      No, there is not a thread limit. I was otherwise engaged in work and not able to post.

  16. bee April 1, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Took a quick look around again tonight before dark around gun range and geothermal. No luck. Are flyers being put up? I can help w that if needed.

    • Stephanie April 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Ty Bee – I have the file for the flyer if you want me to e-mail it to you? e-mail me at and I will send over the file ASAP.

  17. Desert Tortoise April 1, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    This is heartbreaking to me. I know how much I love my “kids” and I know that from time to time I have to trust a sitter or my fiancée to take care of them. My newest “kid” was a stray I picked up off the mean streets of Lancaster and he still has some street smarts in him. Even knowing how much Huskies are escape artists and being exceptionally careful all the time this knucklebrain has managed to bolt past me twice even as I stood in a doorway ostensibly blocking his escape. Ok, yeah, who exactly is the knucklebrain? Unless you have never owned a dog you don’t know how easy it is for them to catch you out during that one nanosecond of inattention and run right past you. My heart goes out to Bentley’s pet parent.

  18. Concerned April 2, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    This makes me so upset!! Sounds like these ‘professional’ dog handlers should learn how to better handle dogs, especially new and unfamiliar dogs to the area. There are red flags waving here! Why do they insist on walking dogs anywhere close the gun range??? And, btw, a leash only works if you are holding the other end or have it attached to another fixed point. You never see a sled dog darting off! That’s because they have skilled handlers.
    Please, Lyn, give us the facts! There are so many holes in this story. Honestly, if I trusted one these so called dog walkers/sitters with my family member, I wouldn’t really care what’s in their heart, I would be concerned more with what goes on in their head?? They are being paid to be prepared for such situations. If the handlers want to be lackadaisical or careless, maybe they should consider investing in some GPS collars!?!? In the meantime, I will be on the lookout for this poor, scared pup.

    • Lyn April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      Call me.. ….I will be happy to give you information that is not just conjecture. These dogs were not anywhere near a shooting range. Another result of misinformation. By her own admission, Stephanie states that she was not even paying attention when she was riding with the dog walker and he was showing her where the dog went missing. There are not holes…..there are mistakes in the information people are developing from their own opinions of what happened….and they simply do not know what happened. Lackadaisical? Careless? You obviously have no knowledge of the man or the situation either, other than what you are choosing to recreate according to what is being posted here. Accusations abound and people are intent upon affixing blame based on their “knowledge” of dogs. My number is 760-965-9006.

    • Stephanie April 2, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Thank you Concerned. — Pam & Lyn: You only know what Buck has told you and you have not bothered to give me a call and have me explain what happened, because we both know there are two sides to everything.So at this point, not even Pam nor Lyn have the full details to even form a proper opinion. Unfortunately for Buck, I have 6 people who were there when the meeting between Buck and Bentley took place, they saw how Buck handled the situation, and how he ultimately made a conscious decision to take Bentley after having met him for a few minutes. All Buck has to go by is his word on what happened, with no witnesses. Of course Buck is not going to take responsibility because by now, I’m sure he knows the repercussions of losing a loved-one and a working Service Dog. I just think it’s so sketchy that both Lyn & Pam are asking all of us to concentrate on finding the dog, and not pointing fingers, but they’re so quick to come to Buck’s rescue without knowing the full facts. The dog that was lost for 3 weeks, was there a similar snow storm going on then like there was this past weekend? Buck claimed to be so concerned, but from the moment he called me to tell me he lost my dog, up until now, his main concern is making sure we do not hold him responsible and clearing his name, and his 2nd concern if finding Bentley. If I were the one who lost someone’s dog, I would be out there morning, noon and night, and I would hold myself fully responsible. Buck was just too overly confident I am afraid, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a decent dog walker *IF* he was paying attention to the task at hand. I believe he might have had a lot going on Saturday morning as he came back 10 minutes after taking Bentley to tell me he lost my e-mail address when it was in his jacket the entire time. He was careless, plain and simple. Buck had the harness he was going to attach Bentley with in the car, but it was not secured. I find it a little hard to believe that my dog flew over Buck’s back in a high suburban, and Buck couldn’t do anything to stop him, ESPECIALLY since Bentley was leashed. Instead of getting out of his vehicle to call for Bentley, he thought it would be a good idea to jump back in his car and follow a scared dog with a huge white object (suburban) coming his way. — Of course there are more details than this, but now that there has been some debate, I thought everyone should know both sides and now that that’s out of the way, we can now focus on finding Bentley. I will be heading back up to Mammoth this weekend to continue the search. I have called every pet control from Mammoth out to a 150 mile radius with no luck. Let’s keep up our spirits and worry about who’s at fault later. Thank you.

    • Joe April 11, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      You sound stupid. Who handles the dog more the owner or the dog walker. Who does the training of a dog. If it was a service dog that is supposed to receive thing for its owner because of physical disability how does it not know the word come. I’m happy he has been found.

  19. Desert Tortoise April 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Has anyone even seen the dog since it ran off? With the weather we have had I worry a great deal about him. Poor kid.

  20. Stephanie April 2, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    UPDATE: Lyn from Tail Waggers called me today and told me Bentley has been spotted! She said her good friend Dina, who is a runner, saw Bentley out 3 different times in the area she was running. Lyn told me she was going to get a hold of her friend Dina and will get back to me as soon as she hears from her where Bentley was spotted. In case you all see him, Lyn said he was still wearing the leash Buck had on him. My partner and I are leaving tonight and will arrive around 7-8am to go look for him. We brought Bentley’s brothers (he dogs he was raised with), so hopefully they can sniff him out or vice versa. I’m going to try to rent out a vehicle with 4×4 because my small car will probably not make the mountains. If anyone would like to join us in our quest, please give us a call at 805-453-7040 or 805-651-0516. If Bentley is not found by tomorrow, I’m going to raise the reward to $2,000 if found. I will drain my savings if I have to.

    • Lyn April 3, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      Good luck. With what you said in your previous post, I can only wish you well in your search. Probably not smart to call in a bunch of other people to go up there and chase Bentley. He runs from any kind of contact and he is fast and agile. It is smart of you to bring his dog friends with you, as that may be the only thing he will respond to. However, since you seem to know everything and not appreciate any of the efforts we made, you do what you want. We will continue to try to find Bentley on our own. For the record, you do not know Mammoth people. We are a close, tight knit community whose only concern in this effort is finding Bentley. I don’t know anyone involved who would be likely to take your money….I know I wouldn’t, nor would Pam or anyone else who has been actively looking.

    • Concerned April 3, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      I am so glad he has been spotted! When you get the details, let us know exactly where to look! I went out with my dogs to look for a few hours yesterday but wasn’t confident we were in the right area. We were hiking all calling for him just a mike or 2 west of Little Hot Creek (siphon tub) and didn’t see any tracks:( or hear any howls. Stephanie, FYI, there are a lot of people in the area visiting for spring break, so that helps! Everyone camping at the tubs now knows about Bentley. And, I talked to the nice guy at the transfer station and he already knew to be on the lookout too:) I will give you a ring if I find some time to go back out with you this weekend.

      • sugar magnolia April 3, 2014 at 10:30 am #

        camping at the tubs? that would be a definite etiquette break. Tubs are for soaking, not for camping. I hope you educated anyone you found camping at the tubs.

        • Concerned April 3, 2014 at 11:47 am #

          I was more worried about the dog, and glad they were there to keep an eye out for him. Otherwise, you are right, I should have!

  21. Stephanie April 3, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    After Lyn called me yesterday and got my hopes up saying her good friend Dina Caster saw him 3 separate times I left Santa Barbara as soon as I could to try to get in contact with Dina and get the exact location where Bentley was seen. Lyn (dog walkers wife) was furious because I was honest in my previous post and now refuses to help me or tell me where Bentley was last seen, like she promised she would. I am waiting to hear back from Dina Caster as I left her a voicemail asking for a call back to get the location. Still waiting.

    • Benett Kessler April 3, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      Why don’t we get away from the negativity in this thread. Nipping at one another’s heels will not lead to finding Bentley.

      • Lyn April 3, 2014 at 10:23 am #

        I am NOT furious, just frustated, Stephanie. Deena did spot Bentley and I called you as soon as I found that out. I told you where Bentley was seen– Smokey Bear Flats, but it is a large area and Deena was in the area above the flats. Only she can show you exactly where she saw him, and she is willing to do so. It is a large section of convoluted, narrow roads. To tell you to go up and just start wandering in area you are not familiar with would be irresponsible and possibly dangerous. Deena had an engagement this morning and said she would call you the minute she was free, and I’m sure she will, if she hasn’t already. I understand your angst, but you are not helping by making accusations against everyone who is trying to help. You are jumping the gun in your accusations and people are becoming wary of incurring your wrath. You need to calm down and accept the help that is being offered with the best of intentions.

    • Concerned April 3, 2014 at 11:41 am #

      Stephanie, I called Lyn to get more details. She is obviously very upset and wants very much to find Bentley. They (she and Buck) have been searching day and night and said they are still willing to help you find him. Hopefully, Dina’s new directions will help bring him home (sounds like she was in a meeting this morning but has time to take you out there today.) I know you are feeling sad and frustrated, but you and everyone who reads this, should know that Buck and Lyn do have your best interest in mind, finding Bentley safe and sound! (Even though you may have gotten mixed messages.)

      I am really, really hoping he is found today, and then we can all move on and try to learn a thing or two from this unfortunate accident.

  22. laura loyd April 3, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I am offering up prayers for all involved, but especially for Bentley. God protect and guide him home.

  23. Allyson April 3, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Stephanie – I’ve met you a couple times thru a mutual friend, Marika (we had brunch together on her birthday) and when I was over at her house a few days ago she informed me of your situation and firstly what I want to say is I AM SO SO SORRY that this is something you have to deal with. This experience is something no pet owner ever wants to experience and being that bentley is not only a friend, family member, best friend but he is also your aid is even more devastating. I’ve been following these posts closely and literally praying everyday for you, bentley and your family that bentley is found, safe and sound (praying is not something i do often but really feel strongly about this baby being found.) I’ve had moments where I wish I could just be out there looking myself and can’t even imagine how you are holding together and how eager you must be to find him. Secondly, to everyone else, to those who have a relation to the ‘dog-walker’- I don’t think Stephanie has ever showed that she hasn’t appreciated your attempts to help because it would make no sense for her to disregard help in finding a dog that she is offering a $2000 reward for. I think that she’s upset, as ANYONE WOULD BE, if they left their dog in the hands of someone else and the dog was lost, regardless of whose fault it was, dog-walker or dog. As soon as the dog walker took on the responsibility of caring for the dog, in my opinion, he became responsible for WHATEVER happens/ed no matter what the circumstances are. I’m sure the man feels guilty, anyone would or at least should, but what’s really most important is that bentley is found and I feel like everyone is getting so upset at Stephanie for having feelings against the dog-walker, but honestly I don’t think she’s said anything wrong but voice her opinion and how she’s perceived his response to the situation and I would hope that there would be more understanding from people that have some relation to the dog-walker.
    Anyway, Im not looking to attack anyone, just point out that the topic has gone very south and in the wrong direction of what the goal actually is.
    Stephanie- I really hope bentley is found, and I will continue to pray and send out my most positive thoughts for his return. It seems like you are getting closer to finding him, that is what I hope anyway so just hang in there and keep looking, im sure your boy misses you just as much as you miss him. Good Luck!

  24. Lyn April 3, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    So not true, Stephanie.

  25. Gazoo April 3, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Stephanie, you don’t need to go into the circumstances of the dog’s escape. Everybody reading knows it was one person who took the dog to where it escaped, so clearly no other person could be responsible. Done.

    What you do need to do is post your flyer to the web, and to the fencepost at the tub, and the tree at the shooting range. The flyer needs to have the GPS coordinate of the location of escape, and GPS coordinates of Deena Kastor’s sighting. It needs info on whether the dog responds to “Bentley” or “Come” or whatever. It needs ONE phone number, not three.

    Next maybe try to talk to the ranchers in the area about water, but chances are the dog has been drinking from puddles everywhere.

    Good luck!

  26. Stephanie April 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    As I have mentioned many times before, I was not trying to start a debate.

    • Benett Kessler April 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Stephanie, I’d like to end the contention on this issue and focus on finding Bentley.
      Thanks, Benett

    • Concerned April 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Do you have an update?
      ….Did Deena take you out to said hills above .smokey .bear to look for him?? ? I thought for sure (hoping) you would see him today, as Deena just saw him yesterday.
      Is anyone helping you look now? It sounds like he was scared of her, so I think he really needs to see you out there….
      Do you feel comfortable looking for him out there without a local? Do you still need help??

  27. Cynthia April 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    UPDATE: We spent all morning with Deena who drove us around the spots where she spotted Bentley yesterday.

    We drove around Smokey Bear Flats. It looks like he’s traveling around the whole area (Smokey Loop & Lookout Loop)
    At first we could distinguish his paw prints (which also displayed a leash being dragged) from all other markings, but as the day went by the traffic and other dog prints made it hard to see where he went off.

    Bentley loves his “brothers” which are two older Chihuahuas. He was playful with all dogs, but from what I hear, after this incident, I believe he is afraid to come near large dogs.

    His favorite toys are squeaky toys and would always come running to us he heard a squeak but that may also have changed since this incident.

    I think the safest bet is to call either Stephanie (805) 651-0516 or Cynthia at (805) 453-7040 immediately if anyone spots Bentley.
    And avoid trying to call him towards you because he’s so spooked at this point, that he darts off in the opposite direction (according to those that have tried to call him).

    So we are guessing he may only respond to either Stephanie or myself at this point. Again, if anyone spots him, Please, please call either one of us and let us know your exact location (Drop a pin in Maps app if you know how!)

    Thanks again for all those helping. I thank you a million times.

    • Pedro April 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      Stephanie, you might try leaving his favorite blanket or an article of clothing with your scent near where he was last seen. I had to leave a lost dog in the woods once and came back to find him waiting on top of my shirt. Maybe someone has a local hunting, rescue or tracking dog that can help. Sounds like a beagle might be better than a bloodhound in his mind. Best of luck!

  28. Gazoo April 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Why no specific locations last seen being posted here though? With you can right click any spot on a dirt road then choose What’s Here? and it will display the GPS coordinates. Just trying to help.

    Also, if the dog is easily spooked you should be traveling those dirt roads on mountain bikes or something as quiet as possible. You should CAMP there. You should have food out and the people whose scents he will recognize. Almost seems like some sort of trap should be considered maybe.

    Good luck!

    • Pedro April 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Good point. Should definitely have a base camp with some of his friends there at all times. He can hear and smell you a lot better than you him. Nothing better than coming home to a warm meal and bed, and people you love, when you have been lost.

      • Pedro April 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

        Oh, and always keep the love, warmth, and conviction of his coming home in your voice. Your fear and frustration may confuse him even if he knows you. Maybe sing a song: “When Bentley comes home we’re going to have a party! We’re going to rub Bentley’s belly and feed him cookies!” or just “Bentley, we love you.” Lot easier on your voice all day and his nerves.

  29. Lyn April 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    I wish I knew who you are. You have some common sense.

  30. Wayne Deja April 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Gosh,I hope you all find this dog !!!!!

  31. Cynthia April 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Thank you Pedro and Gazoo for your valuable advice. We left a shirt out the first day he was lost but it snowed a lot that night and when we came back, it was burried under the snow with no tracks around :/

    We put a couple more shirts out but those were buried too. We sent a few more over to Pam along with a few of his squeaky toys and she agreed to help us put those out where he was last spotted (thank you Pam!)

    Tonight we set up a tent with his favorite blanket, another one of his squeaky toys and his water bowl. We’ve been out there with his “brothers” but haven’t heard Bentley pass by 🙁 it sure does get cold out here! A million thanks to Deena for helping us with camping equiptment. We drove directly from work out to Mammoth when we heard he was spotted so we didn’t bring much other than the clothes on our backs, Bentley’s “brothers” and his warm blanket. I greatly appreciate all the locals who have helped us out. Both Stephanie and I feel like our hearts have been ripped out–it really is the worst feeling in the world to lose a family member. But those that drove us around and helped look for him helped restore my faith in humanity and gave us a little hope.

    Gretchen & Barb, you two are the sweetest, thanks for staying out there with us until the sunset. And Barb, we probably would have been freezing out here if you had not helped us set up a base camp (first timers learn the hard way not to set up tents at night eh) Again, I can’t express how grateful I am for all the help we’ve been getting and for those who have helped keep our hopes up. I hope to repay each and everyone of you for your kindness.

    Ps. If you see Bentley’s blanket and we have gone off for a bite to eat, please do not touch! We don’t want to confuse him and have someone else’s scent on it. We are planning to put out a sign but we’ll have to wait until we go into town to buy some paper and markers.

  32. Gazoo April 4, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Stephanie, Cynthia, and all the community: you are heroes and I think today or tomorrow Bentley will come to you.

    Easier said than done but you might have a bunch of rags that you can throw down when the chihuahuas urinate. Place them on the dirt roadside, maybe forming a perimeter or something.

    Does the “industrial park” LOL in the woods (37.679944,-118.906918,-118.906918) have a fence around it? I wonder if a lost dog would tend to keep checking that out.

  33. Stephanie April 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    UPDATE: So from what the tracks tells us, he’s circling the same two areas, Smokey Bear Flats & Antelope Springs Rd. Today he was spotted by the power lines heading up Antelope Springs Rd. We have set up a base camp with a tent and his favorite blanket inside. Since he’s been spotted and spooked every time, we think it may be best to search without dogs, and stay as quiet as possible. Do not try to call him over or he will run away. It is best to call us immediately with any sightings and we will head over ASAP. We brought his brothers with us and by now we believe they might be the only ones to get him close enough to catch. Again, our numbers are 805-651-0516 or 805-453-7040. I barely get any reception so please try both numbers. Thanks again for everyone’s advice and help, this town is amazing!

  34. Stephanie April 5, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    We have run into some problems. It sounds like from what a few locals have told us, that Bentley has been found, but he’s still missing. We have also heard that my partner and I have spotted Bentley and he ran from us, but that is also not true. The last time we saw him was Saturday morning when we sent him off with the dog walker. So it’s been a week since we have seen him. Another problem we have run into is, it looks like there might be another dog also dragging a leash around during his walk because we have found dog tracks with drags on the snow, but the paw prints are not the same size as Bentley’s. We camped out over night by the power lines and we woke up to a local walking her dogs. The one she had off leash ate most of the treats and food we left out for Bentley, so at this point we aren’t even sure if it’s Bentley eating the treats everyone has left behind for him, or other dogs in the area. We also went into town and noticed the missing dog flyers have been taken down. So if you hear any chatter of Bentley being found, please let them be aware that Bentley is still missing. Thank you.

  35. Victoria Rawson April 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Maybe use a camp stove and boil some liver. It smells very strong and Bentley is bound to be very hungry by now. Just a thought.

  36. Gazoo April 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Keep your spirits up. There’s birds mice deer lizards but the fact it’s a popular dog play area is good news, hopefully keeping Bentley nearby.

  37. CM April 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Any updates? We just spent 3 hours driving around the back roads and followed the power lines up to the Giothermal plant, no luck. My heart goes out to all involved…hope Bently is found soon.

  38. DL April 6, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Spent 2 hours Saturday walking the pole-line road, about 1 hour this morning walking the roads at Smokey Bear Flats and 2 hours this afternoon driving pole-line and Antelope Springs Road. Will continue to keep checking the area until Bentley is found.

  39. Stephanie April 7, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    After camping out in the mountains two days in a row, our attempts have been unsuccessful. The dog walker tied a roast to some rope and let it drag behind his suburban up the road he took Bentley on last Saturday. He ended up tying the roast to a tree next to our base camp, but it didn’t work. It attracted coyotes and we couldn’t find any fresh tracks the following day. With the weekend, there was a lot of traffic and recreational activies going on like gun shots from the range, motor bikes, etc. .. We believe it might have made Bentley roam to a new location, away from the noise. Since the snow has begun to melt, we are also thinking he may be moving toward a body of water. My partner and I had to leave back to Santa Barbara today. She just got a new job which starts today at 8am, and I have over 30 urgent emails waiting for me as well. I didn’t get to search as long as I wanted due to illness for the 4 days we were out there, but we will hopefully be back this coming weekend. We refuse to give up. As I mentioned before, reward is now up to $2000. And I offer it in case someone really wants to help but don’t have the resources. I was considering searching via air, but afraid the noise will scare him further away. Maybe we will try boiling the liver next weekend, which is a brilliant idea, and hopefully we will get Bentley instead of coyotes with that method. Thanks again to everyone out there not giving up. You have given us so much hope. Special thanks to Deena Kaster and her wonderful family, and everyone else we met this past weekend. Also, to all the advice given on this thread. Thank you!

    • Benett Kessler April 7, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Stephanie, I have been asked if you were calling Bentley’s name or put out a piece of your clothing?

      • Cynthia April 7, 2014 at 10:07 am #


        Neither Stephanie nor myself have seen Bentley since the dog walker took him on 03/29. The first few days we tried calling him name, but after talking to a few experts, we were advised not to do so, since he may not recognize our voice with stress or despair mixed into our tones. Since he was never visible in the areas we walked and drove, we needed to slightly shout his name and use use familiar phrases with hopes he would come running back to us, however, we were advised against doing that as well, as loud noises/echos would scare him away as well.

        Instead we have been using our scent as well as the scent of his “brothers” to try to lure him back to base camp. We left some shirts behind as well as some of his favorite squeaky toys.

        Thanks again to all those helping

        • MtnHiker April 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

          If my dog were missing, I would definitely be calling his name. Does Bentley respond to your voice in a positive manner under normal circumstances? Just try calling him in a happy voice trying not to show your stress. Its good you are leaving scented clothing in the area. Best wishes for his safe return to you.

  40. Stephanie April 7, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    BK- Yes, I Sent Pam a package of some worn shirts and his favorite toys via FedEx on Wed. When we got the call that someone had spotted Bentley we loaded up the cr with the blanket he slept on, some more of his toys, and more articles of our clothing for him to pick up the scent. We camped out at Smokey Bear Flats one night with all those things in and around a tent Deena Kastor let us borrow. When Bentley was spotted the following day at the same location he was first lost (near power lines on Antelope Speings Rd) we decided to move all his belongings and the near in the last location he was seen. Still no luck 🙁 when we left yesterday, we kept a worn TShirt and 2 of his toys behind, in case he picked up our scent the last couple of days.

  41. DL April 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Stephanie and Cynthia,

    I spoke with you briefly Saturday while I was walking down the pole-line road. Could you tell me his last known location (was it where you set up the tent?) and do you know which way he was traveling? (continuing up the pole-line road OR Antelope Valley Road?) I will try to go out everyday after work to look.

  42. Kate Plost April 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Hey ladies (Stephanie and Cynthia)
    I have gone out searching a few times looking for Bently. I’ve been really busy at work and haven’t had as much time as I would of liked. Pam showed me the spot of his initial loss two days after the incident. I’ve been search the area as a whole. I used to snowmobile and am super familiar with those back roads. I haven’t had a sighting myself but wanted to chime in. Keep faith . Pam and myself spent three whole weeks, for hours each day, searching for our friends dog Burton . And as we almost gave up hope, as fast as his was gone, he appeared. I am a huge animal lover. Have trained, volunteered, and been a foster parent to many dogs. Specializing in pitbulls. So your dog has a huge special place in my heart.
    I’ve been searching either solo or with one (my calmest) of my three dogs. I will go out again tomorrow evening with my female PitBull and see if we can’t find some luck. With experience from the Burton search it’s very very hard to catch a scares dog. It’s not his fault he is scared , but he is. Is he crate trained? If we leave a crate with blankets and toys out, will that remind him of a safe place? Also, as I’m sure this has been addressed, is there a special word he loves? Something to do with his service training? Anything besides the common that could lure him in? I am praying for the best. Dogs are sooooo strong and smart and I’m sure at this point, he has seen us much more than we have seen him.
    Bentley is in my thoughts.

  43. Stephanie April 8, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    Deena Kastor said she saw him near the power lines around Antelope Springs Rd on Friday. Dog walker believes he might be 1/2 mile to a mile out north. We decided to camp out where the dog walker first said he jumped out because there were multiple rds that led to where we camped out, we figured we were bound to catch him on one of those rds, but no luck. I feel like if he sees me or his brothers, he would come toward us if there were no other distractions. Unfortunately I haven’t seen him since he was lost 3/29, but we have been driving from Santa Barbara to see if we can lure him in, again no luck. We will be out this this weekend for the 3rd time, but we are bringing friends to help with at least any sightings. I feel like with more traffic, he would be scared out of the place he’s been keeping put. We are also going to try boiling liver as suggested above.

  44. Gazoo April 8, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Kate wrote some important info. The owners will want to imagine a scenario where they spot Bentley but he does not come. Imagine in their mind what steps to try at that point, and share any recommendations so other searchers know. What “tools” would be nice to have handy, etc.

    Location. Location. Location. My writing isn’t really sinking in here, but all the locations provided so far are not locations, they are lines that might be several miles long. A road is a several mile-long line, same with a power line. Just provide the GPS POINT (not line), please.

    Good luck everybody!

  45. Stephanie April 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Gazoo: Since we have iPhones and not androids we have been trying to “drop a pin” to get exact coordinates to the locations, but those have been unsuccessful. Once the other user opens the dropped pin it only shows the general location of downtown Mammoth Lake. This weekend while we are out there, I will download the Google Maps apps for those who use Android phones and will update the coordinates on here.

    This morning I received a call from Animal Control saying someone by the name of Gina spotted Bentley this morning. Gina, lives out near a ranch about 15 miles north of the 395, around Clark Canyon. She spotted him this morning and since it is a private property, we got so lucky that Deena knew Gina and was able to drive around the area in her Jeep while Gina was on horse back. Unfortunately they weren’t able to get another visual of Bentley, but Deena and I are hoping that he heads either back towards the ranch, Owens River Rd, or highway 395.

    I let Deena know I was considering taking a helicopter tour in that area this weekend to see if I can spot him running around, and will alert others on the ground of the general vicinity. I may do that either Saturday or Sunday morning, depending on the availability. I don’t want to spook him too much that he runs further away from town.

    • DL April 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      I’m so happy he was seen this morning and glad that he made it to the Owens River. There wasn’t much water in the Antelope Springs/Smokey Bear Flats area for him to drink.
      Sending prayers and positive thoughts to all of you. Please keep us posted.

  46. Gazoo April 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Re GPS, there’s a jillion ways to get the coordinates (also called waypoints):

    Search the appstore for apps with GPS or waypoint in the name, install one, or
    Ask any of your friends who are good with tech devices, or
    Use your phone’s browser and navigate to, or
    Use your laptop’s browser and navigate to same.

    Within the Google Maps website, you don’t have to be out in the field. You will be able to recognize exact locations just by the “Satellite View” and Zoom. When zoomed in all the way, click the symbol that looks like a chainlink. It will present the URL and within that is the GPS coordinate.
    Example: the “industrial park” I mentioned in an earlier message has a long URL of…,-118.906918&ll=37.679944,-118.906918&spn=0.000919,0.002064&t=h&z=20
    …and the numbers that follow “ll=” are the latitude and longitude (the GPS coordinate).

    Your helicopter idea is a wonderful testament to your dedication and devotion but I don’t think it will locate him and even if it did you gotta figure out how to capture him. IMHO the money would be better spent hiring ground experts, trackers, trappers, etc.

    Good luck, you are heroes and Bentley is lucky to have such a great family.

  47. Stephanie April 10, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    I spoke w/ my boss who uses a 4 quad mini helicopter w/ HD video to take aerial shots of real estate, so he will be tweaking it a bit and adding some sort of voice recording of me calling Bentley’s name and the phrases he’s most familiar with. I’m still holding out hope that once he finally sees me, he’ll run over to me like the big baby he is. If by this weekend all of our new efforts don’t work, I have been e-mailing professional dog trackers as back ups this morning in the LA area to see if they’re able to help in the search.Waiting to hear back. I will also be speaking with animal control about how I should set up humane traps, so hopefully any of those attempts are bound to work. If not, last resort is some sort of tranq. shot, we’ve been getting tons of ideas flowing in. So we appreciate you all and your genius ideas.

  48. Lyn April 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Bentley is found!!!!!

    • Pam April 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      Bentley will be heading back home tomorrow! Finally, a lengthy,but happy ending! Thank you to everyone who drove endless roads, hiked unknown trails, ran miles looking for him, hung meat in trees, set out clothing and food, tracked paw prints and drag marks, sent numerous texts, emails and phone calls, and to Steve Searls and the Mammoth Police Dept. who ultimately were able to capture the elusive Bentley! Thanks once again to an amazing group of dedicated dog lovers. You are the best!!!!!

  49. CM April 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    So exciting! Congratulations! My thoughts have been so consumed with this rescue. I knew that with all the efforts coming from this community that he would be okay! SO HAPPY!

  50. DL April 10, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Great work Steve and Officers Hornbeck and Moscowitz! What a happy ending for Stephanie, Cynthia and Bentley:)

  51. Stephanie April 12, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    On behalf of Cynthia, myself, and my entire family we would like to thank all those involved, and the town of Mammoth Lakes! You have all restored my faith in humanity and we truly appreciate every single effort. Those who offered prayers, thoughts, and helped almost every single day since Bentley was lost, we cannot thank you enough! This feeling of having him back with us is indescribable and we have you all to thank. To the officers and Steve, the Bear Whisperer, you guys are forever our heros. And a very very special thanks to Deena Kastor and Pam Barker for your inspiring determination and emotional support, you gave us so much hope. To Lynn at TailWaggers and a sweet woman at the Chocolate Factory, I’m so sorry the name is escaping me at the moment, but they set Bentley up with some treats and a goodie bag. Finally, thank you Benett Kessler and the rest of Sierra Wave crew for running this in efforts to spread word and help us find Bentley. We apologize if we are leaving anyone out, we have met a ton of people the last two weeks.

    We plan to return this summer and hold a BBQ celebration to show our gratitude towards this beautiful town. We will be in touch with everyone who helped out and is interested in attending. We look forward to seeing you all again, and celebrating this miracle!

    • Benett Kessler April 12, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Thank you Stephanie. Would you also mind giving us Cynthia’s last name? The Animal Shelter provided us with a very heart-warming photo of the two of you with Bentley. We would like to post it with your names. Thanks, Benett

    • Lyn Dunlap April 18, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Stephanie. I meant to ask you for your phone number before you left. Would you mind giving it to me? Also, just out of curiosity, how were Bentley’s paws when you got him back? In all the excitement, I completely forgot the check. After all, he did a lot of traveling!
      Is he gaining some of his weight back?

  52. Stephanie April 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Cynthia Gama


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