GILBERT, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent members of his mounted posse and a helicopter to the Gilbert area Thursday to help search for a dog believed to have escaped from a boarding facility where 20 other dogs died.
Valor, a 2-year-old German shepherd mix, went missing from the Green Acre boarding facility near Queen Creek Road and Val Vista Drive over the weekend.
According to the sheriff's office, there is no proof that Valor escaped. Still, the dog's owners, their friends and area residents have continued to search.
The sheriff's office is still investigating whether the owners or caretakers of Green Acre are to blame for the heat-related deaths of the 20 dogs. The owners said a dog chewed through a wall and wiring, causing the air conditioning to shut off.
The dogs, of various breeds and sizes, were found dead early Friday morning. The owners of Green Acre originally told their customers that the dogs had run away.
Authorities focused their search Thursday on an area in the East Valley pointed out by a scent-tracking dog.
"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," Arpaio said in a statement.
The sheriff said he hopes to have the investigation completed soon.
Anyone who sees Valor, who is nearly all gray, is asked to call 602-876-1011 and request the Animal Crimes Unit.
A vigil is planned for the deceased dogs Saturday. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix. Arpaio plans to attend.