Riverside County

Dog Lost During Apple Fire is Reunited with His Owner

Buck, a Queensland Heeler mix, was returned to his owner by Orange County firefighters.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Since the start of the Apple Fire in Riverside County that sparked last week, many families and homes have been affected.

The fire has now scorched over 28,085 acres, destroyed four homes and eight other structures.

Evacuation orders and warnings were announced in various communities, forcing residents to rush out of their homes with little to no warning. 

Most families have little time to gather their belongings and make sure their pets are taken care of as well.

One family in particular was devastated when their dog got lost during the fire after chasing away a coyote from their property on Mais Canyon Road. 

Greg Skeens, a resident of Banning, was worried that his dog Buck had been attacked by a group of coyotes and presumed dead. 

Skeens was delighted to hear the news that his beloved dog was safe and cared for, as was Buck when they were finally reunited.

The news came to Skeens when Sgt. Lesley Huennekens had arrived at his door to ask if he needed help providing food or water to his pets and livestock.

That is when the officer learned of Buck who had gone missing and recognized the dog Skeens had just described. 


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He was found by Orange County firefighters who had been assisting in protecting properties during the Apple Fire. 

Orange County firefighters tended to the dog, gave him water, a bite of their sandwich and took him to an animal control representative. ⁠

Buck, a Queensland Heeler mix, had been handed off to Lt. Luis Rosa of Animal Services, who transported him to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus where he was being kept safe since Sunday.

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