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Animal hospital aiding in search for dog that escaped from its care

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O’FALLON, IL (KTVI) – It's among a pet owner's worst fears:  drop your dog at the vet and your dog never comes back home.

The search is "on" for a missing Chihuahua after a dog escaped from a pet hospital in O’Fallon, Illinois.

Banfield Pet Hospital is taking responsibility for "Cachito" the Chihuahua getting away.

His owner said she dropped him off at 7:30 in the morning Saturday; he escaped around 11:00 o'clock; no one called her about it until 1:30 in the afternoon.

“He’s so small.  He’s 5 pounds.  He’s black and white and white … I’m sure he’s really, really, confused and scared right now.  We just want him back home,” said Vanessa Cortez, fighting tears.

Cachito”, 4-year-old Chihuahua was at Banfield for a routine checkup.

A worker lost hold of him while getting ready to weigh him, Cortez said.

He ran through the store, out the door, across a very busy Highway 50, passed by

The Aldi’s store and disappeared.

Cachito” was spotted again near St. Clair Bowl on Old Collinsville Road Sunday.

Cortez searched there but didn’t find him.

About 50 missing dog posters now dot the area.

A worker took off his collar or the checkup; Cortez is now wearing an orange “Banfield Pet Hospital” collar, Cortez said.

“He’s really, really shy so if you try to go and grab him or yell out his name or whistle, he will run away even further,” she told FOX2.

Remy Becker was picking up her dog from the same Banfield location Monday.  She’d been taking the dog there for 8 years.  There was no excuse for a dog getting away, she said.

“Oh God no...it’s really irresponsible to just lose a dog.  How do you just lose a dog?  I would be extremely upset if that ever happened to me.  She’s my lifeline,” Becker said.

“It’s like a day care losing a kid.  How could you let a 5lb. Chihuahua run out of the store and not call us immediately after it happened,” Cortez said.

Banfield issued the following statement to FOX2 Monday:

“At Banfield Pet Hospital we require every pet in our care to be double leashed while being transported in and around our hospital; unfortunately, Cachito was not properly leashed. In order to fully partner with his owners, our associates should’ve notified Cachito’s family as they began their search. The hospital team is continuing to look for Cachito sun up to sun down. There have been sightings of Cachito over the past few days and we hope this additional media exposure helps reunite him with his family as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we are working with the hospital team to ensure something like this never happens again.”