An 18-month-old female Ridgeback named ‘Kiah’ might be the most famous dog in Wagga at the moment but for all the wrong reasons.
The beloved dog might have made a 140-kilometre trek to North Wagga in temperatures above 40 degrees after being separated from its owners in Maragle State Forest.
The Lidden family from Sydney’s northern beaches have returned to Wagga this week to investigate a sighting of Kiah and promote a $5000 reward for finding her.
The family’s nightmare began on January 2 when a holiday camping trip to the Maragle state forest took a distressing turn.
“My partner, Chris, had Kiah tied to his belt and they were just walking around exploring when the sound of a gunshot scared Kiah,” Tina Lidden said.
“Kiah broke Chris’ pants and then ran. We have been looking for her ever since.
“She was last sighted on Sunday at the Palm and Pawn in North Wagga. The lady described her to a tee so we have flown in from Sydney on Wednesday to look for her.”
The person who spotted Kiah at the Palm and Pawn told the family she looked thin at the time.
Palm and Pawn Motor Inn owner Jeremy Duncan said staff members had not seen the dog.
“I spent two hours looking through our security camera footage from around the time it was spotted and I couldn’t see it,” he said.
“We have put up the posters around the place.”
The family consider it possible that Kiah could have traveled the 140 kilometres in the 14 days between when she was lost and the sighting in North Wagga.
Ms Lidden said the family’s children, Arlo, aged 5 and Indi, aged 3, had been greatly upset by Kiah going missing.
“We are all devastated. We love this dog. We absolutely love her,” he said.
The family have shared Facebook posts about Kiah with their offer of a $5000 reward on every community page they could find around the Maragle state forest.
Ms Lidden said the posts have been shared a combined total of 6000 times.
“We’ve been walking around in the street with posters asking people if they have seen Kiah,” she said.
“They all say they haven’t seen her in person but recognize her from Facebook.”
Kiah has been described as a gentle dog last seen wearing a florescent green collar.
She is desexed and microchipped.
“Kiah is timid. If somebody sees her she probably wouldn’t run up to them. We’re making an appeal and hopefully if someone sees her they can just grab her and take her to a vet,” Ms Lidden said.
Anyone who finds Kiah can also contact the family on 0407 281 898.
The family spent five days at Maragle State Forest looking for Kiah and even employed a tracker with dogs, but they were unable to find a scent in the heatwave conditions.
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