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Published:September 2nd, 2012 11:09 EST
Pepper, the Homeless Mexican Dog, Finds Forever Home in Northern California

Pepper, the Homeless Mexican Dog, Finds Forever Home in Northern California

By SOP newswire

After eight months on the lam, a celebrated capture and national press, Pepper, a German shepherd mix has finally found a forever home.

The 2-year-old dog will travel to the West Coast this weekend and live at 
the Grace Foundation of Northern California, a 600-acre sanctuary north of Sacramento. Beth DeCaprio, executive director of the nonprofit, said she was moved by Pepper`s story and said she looks forward to working with the fearful but wily dog. "He`s going to love it here," DeCaprio said. "And we are going to love having him here."

Pepper was captured Friday, Aug. 17, at a Santa Fe residence by Steve Dobbie. The architect and retired volunteer deputy had made it his mission to find the dog that had been adopted from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter in December but quickly escaped from the person who adopted him. 

Dobbie, along with his wife, Yvette, and many volunteers who eventually called themselves Pepper`s Posse, were worried the stray dog would get hit while living on the streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Dobbie tracked down Pepper`s daily route and routine and eventually lured him into the backyard of a home after spending weeks preparing for the capture. The Dobbies even spent the night in their vehicle parked near the residence awaiting the dog`s early morning feeding.

Yvette Dobbie contacted several sanctuaries, including the Grace Foundation, to see if they would accept the dog, after he was returned to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Pepper`s had a stream of visitors at the shelter since his capture, including Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M. His plight and capture was featured on several television news reports including CNN, along with a story in the Los Angeles Times.

The Dobbies, part-time Santa Fe residents who are returning to Southern California this week, plan to be at the foundation in Eldorado Hills, Calif., when Pepper arrives. Volunteers and a behaviorist with the animal shelter are driving him to the sanctuar He`s going to live in paradise," Yvette Dobbie said. "He`s such a free spirit. He deserves the best."

Pepper`s story began at a animal control facility in Sante Fe New Mexico.  Pepper was one of the lucky dogs that was adopted, but like many shelter dogs, Pepper had no trust in humans.  4 days after being adopted Pepper got away from his new owner and spent the next 7 months living in terror on the streets of Sante Fe New Mexico, a problem not all too uncommon for dogs that have been abused.  
What is uncommon is that anyone, especially perfect strangers would come to Pepper`s aide.   impacted by his story Steve a former police reserve and Yvette an animal lover and advocate , spent the next 7 months tracking Pepper until just last week they were finally able to trap and rescue him.

With Pepper back in the shelter Yvette ad Steve set out on another difficult journey....to try and find a home for Pepper where he could have room to run and bond with humans....and dogs.

That is where Grace came in.  After hearing Pepper`s plight, Founder and director Beth DeCaprio knew that Pepper`s journey should stop at Grace.  Beth`s own dog pack could help give Pepper the bonds he would need to feel safe enough to stay in his new home and the STARR training would give Pepper the fundamental training through the building blocks of STARR- security, trust, acceptance, respect = Relationship to develop his first relationship with a human...built on trust.

This Sunday Pepper will be making the long journey to the Grace ranch and Grace is inviting the  community to come out and meet Pepper and the incredible people that saved him.