Dog with cancer that escaped from BluePearl hospital has been found

TAMPA, Fla. - UPDATE (May 23) | The search for the dog with cancer that escaped the BluePearl Tampa hospital on May 18 has come to an end.

According to the hospital's Facebook page, Shelby was found resting underneath a car at a dealership on the intersection of Linebaugh and Dale Mabry.

They say other than being treated for a broken leg, she appears to be in good shape and has already been happily reunited with her family.

Shelby's owner, Jennifer Kobuta, said she was happy when she was notified her dog was found.

"Like I said accidents happen. What matters is that she’s back and that she’s in good hands and she’s being well cared for by everybody," Kobuta said.

As a result of the incident, BluePearl Spokesperson, Carrie O'Brion said they will implement changes at the hospital. O'Brion said they purchased new locks to make sure their kennels are secure.

"Believe me no one is going to let Shelby out of their sight. We're so grateful to have this dog here and to be able to help her safely reunite with her family," O'Brion said.

O'Brion said the employee, who found Shelby, will receive the $1,000 reward they offered to help them find the boxer mix.

Kobuta said she is beyond excited her dog is safe.

"She is part of our family and like I said before she's my best friend," Kobuta said.

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ORIGINAL STORY (May 18) | The search continues for a dog with cancer that escaped a Tampa animal hospital.

Shelby’s owner, Jennifer Kobuta, dropped her off at BluePearl Wednesday morning for her second week of radiation.

“She has Soft Tissue Sarcoma, which is cancer on her leg and had a mass removed so I was bringing her there for radiation every morning,” Kobuta said.

About 20 minutes after Kobuta dropped off Shelby, she escaped.

“We think the kennel door inside the hospital was not properly latched,” Curtis Krueger, spokesman for BluePearl Veterinary Partners said.

According to Krueger, the 50 pound dog then pushed the front door of the hospital open and escaped.

“We’re taking ownership of this. We know that it’s on us,” Krueger said.

Kobuta said she is thankful hospital staff are helping her search for Shelby.

“Mistakes happen. This shouldn’t have happened, but I can’t focus on that right now,” Kobuta said.

Krueger said they are offering a $1,000 reward for Shelby’s safe return; they have also hired a professional dog tracker to find Shelby. The professional dog tracker starts Friday. Many of BluePearl's employees have been searching around the clock and about a 10 mile radius from the hospital for Shelby.

“All I care about is getting my dog home. She’s my best friend,” Kobuta said.

If anyone has seen Shelby, they need to call (813) 933-8944.

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