The hero who brought a missing puppy to a downtown Wichita fire station Friday morning doesn’t have a cape.
He doesn’t even have a home.
The homeless man brought a puppy only a few months old to Fire Station 1 at 731 N. Main at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday. The well-groomed German Shepherd had a collar but no identification tags.
“We knew someone would be missing her,” Fire Capt. Brent Holman said in an online interview with the Eagle. “She was a cutie. Stole our hearts.”
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It took a few hours, but they eventually tracked down the owners via a lost-animal site on Facebook.
“She was in tears when they picked her up,” Holman said of Melissa Lomeli, Venus’ owner.
Lomeli’s anxiety over the disappearance of little Venus was palpable on her Facebook posts.
“My puppy is missing since this morning,” she wrote on Thursday. “We’re really worried...she’s very loving and still a baby.”
Lomeli’s husband had taken Venus and Zeus, the family’s pit bull, outside Thursday morning so they could “take care of their business,” she said.
When he realized how bitterly cold it was, he ducked back inside to pull on a coat. By the time he stepped outside again, Venus was gone.
“I was in disbelief,” Lomeli said.
They searched the neighborhood, calling for Venus and peeking into backyards when they could. But Venus was nowhere to be found.
“She must have run pretty fast,” Lomeli said.
It was hard to sleep Thursday night, she said, because they were so worried about Venus. Zeus was upset, too. They typically do everything together, she said.
“He was really sad when she was missing,” Lomeli said of Zeus. “He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want to play — nothing. He was so sad the whole day.”
They woke late on Friday to social media messages that Venus had been found.
“I wish I could thank him,” Lomeli said of the homeless man that found Venus. “It was amazing what he did.”
Venus was clearly happy to be home, she said. She played and played with Zeus, then plopped down in his dog bed and took a long nap.