Cheyenne Animal Control Catches ‘Escape Artist’ Pup On The Loose Since 2019

Chewy is a 5-year-old border collie mix that’s been on the radar of Cheyenne Animal Control since 2019. They’ve dubbed him an “escape artist,” but finally caught him last week.

GJ
Greg Johnson

September 06, 20233 min read

Chewy, a 5-year-old border collie mix, seems to like being scratched by Kayla Hahn at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Wednesday morning. He also was eager to scarf down chunks of cheese from Cal Drudge, right.
Chewy, a 5-year-old border collie mix, seems to like being scratched by Kayla Hahn at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Wednesday morning. He also was eager to scarf down chunks of cheese from Cal Drudge, right. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Inmate No. 1443 is wary of people, loves cheese and has a reputation as an escape artist. But his life on the run is finally over.

That ended last week when Cheyenne Animal Control finally caught up with the small black-and-white border collie mix that had eluded them around a south Cheyenne neighborhood since 2019.

“Animal Control has certainly been on the lookout for this dog since it went stray status,” Cheyenne Animal Shelter spokesperson Kayla Hahn told Cowboy State Daily. “Now we can try to get him back to an owner or get him adopted.”

The dog had been on a hold since his capture in case an owner turned up, but that ended Wednesday morning when that didn’t happen. Now the small, timid pup is on a track for eventual adoption. He’s also no longer known as No. 1443.

Meet Chewy.

Tagged as an "escape artist," Chewy was caught last week after being on the radar of Cheyenne Animal Control since 2019.
Tagged as an "escape artist," Chewy was caught last week after being on the radar of Cheyenne Animal Control since 2019. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Chewy’s Story … Sort Of

While Chewy has been on the radar of Animal Control for four years, he’s been elusive. Until Thursday, all other attempts to catch him by hand or with a trap had failed.

He was finally caught in a trap in the 1000 block of Drew Court, which is where it’s believed he at one time had a family, Hahn said.

Nobody really knows for sure what happened, but rumors are that Chewy lived a home that caught fire in the area in 2018 and hasn’t been lived in since 2019 when the owner passed away, she said.

“We really don’t know,” Hahn said about Chewy’s backstory. “A house fire, his owner passed away. He certainly has a story, but only he knows it.”

Old case reports at Animal Control show attempts to catch him at least back to March 2021 in the same area.

Escape Artist

On his lost-and-found profile on the Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s website, under “attributes” for Chewy are just two words: “escape artist.”

It’s not by accident the dog, estimated to be about 5 years old, was able to stay a stray for so long, Hahn said.

“He’s still timid and nervous, as he hasn’t been around people for the last few years of his life,” she said. “He still has those escape artist tendencies.”

But he’s not aggressive or anti-social and seems to be warming up to being around people, she said.

On Wednesday morning, he was calm and actively seeking out head scratches from the crew at the shelter while scarfing down chunks of cheese. He also was on a leash the whole time because, given a chance, he could bolt.

Why Chewy

In fact, that’s part of why he’s now called Chewy.

On reason is “we have quite a few ‘Star Wars’ fans in the building,” Hahn said in reference to the nickname of the character Chewbacca. “Also, he’s able to chew through quite a few leashes and collars.”

That’s why now he’s on a chain leash, she said.

For now, Chewy will stay at the shelter as volunteers and staff continue working with him to be less timid with people. But he’s already on his way to having a new home he hopefully won’t want to escape from.

Kayla Hahn and Cal Drudge sit with Chewy at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Wednesday morning.
Kayla Hahn and Cal Drudge sit with Chewy at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Wednesday morning. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)
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Greg Johnson

Managing Editor

Veteran Wyoming journalist Greg Johnson is managing editor for Cowboy State Daily.