Missing dog walker, three pups found alive in Coquitlam, B.C.
Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:59AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 22, 2017 7:59PM EST
A Vancouver-area dog walker and three dogs have been found alive in the British Columbia wilderness, nearly three days after she was reported missing.
Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin made the announcement on Wednesday after two nights of search-and-rescue efforts with multiple teams in the area.
Annette Poitras, 56, was found around 11 a.m. and later airlifted to hospital.
Her husband, Marcel, told reporters his wife is doing well and talking, but suffering from a back injury.
"You just can't imagine what it feels like," he said of hearing the news Poitras had been found alive. "I've had some dark days here. I woke up this morning and I just knew it. I knew she was coming home today."
Poitras was found with the three dogs -- a border collie named Chloe, a puggle named Bubba and a boxer named Roxy -- huddled between two streams in a marshy basin near Burke Mountain, "well outside of the normal trail system," according to McLaughlin.
Searchers made contact with the missing woman around 11 a.m. PST on Wednesday.
"And then the dogs lit up and started barking extensively, so we knew we were on the right path and we got a team over to her to assess her," Al Hurley, manager of Coquitlam Search and Rescue, told The Canadian Press.
McLaughlin said she slipped and injured herself, and was unable to hike out. But she is expected to make a full recovery.
"We're really, really happy when we can go to the family and bring news like this,” he said. "It's a relief. It feels great.”
McLaughlin said the dogs are also in good condition.
Poitras, who owns the dog-walking business, had been missing since Monday afternoon, when she was out walking trails with her own dog and two others in a Coquitlam area that friends and coworkers say she'd walked many times before.
Her van was found in a parking lot near the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club and trails her husband said she often frequented for her business.
Concern grew for the woman who was described as "athletic and fit," but unprepared for a night on cold and wet trails.
One of the dog owners spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday where she expressed her gratitude for the search and rescue teams that brought her pup home safely.
"I so appreciate everything that's been done and all the efforts," she said.
"Annette is a good friend of mine and I wish her well, and I hope that she can get back out walking real soon because all the dogs love her."
With a report from CTV Vancouver and files from The Canadian Press
— Coquitlam SAR (@CoquitlamSAR) November 21, 2017
Chloe: Border Collie
Roxy: Boxer pic.twitter.com/020GpKgkmk