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home : latest news : local February 6, 2016

3/9/2014 6:00:00 AM
Dog lost in aftermath of I-40 crash near Kingman
Man unleashes search of Kingman area for Prince
Courtesy photo
Earl Taylor, who lives in San Francisco, shows off his traveling companion, Prince, during a recent trip. Taylor lost Prince when the dog jumped out of a broken car window after a collision on I-40 in February just east of Kingman. The two were on their way to Arkansas.
Courtesy photo
Earl Taylor, who lives in San Francisco, shows off his traveling companion, Prince, during a recent trip. Taylor lost Prince when the dog jumped out of a broken car window after a collision on I-40 in February just east of Kingman. The two were on their way to Arkansas.

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The 3,000 flyers distributed around Kingman last month by Earl Taylor as he searched for his dog, Prince, were a printed testimony to his love for his 7-year-old American pitbull terrier.

Featuring a large photograph of the dog, the flyers described Prince - light tan color, white chest, white paws at tips, weight of 70 pounds and missing the lower right canine tooth. They also offered a $1,000 reward for the animal, which jumped out of the shattered window of his owner's car and ran away after a collision Feb. 18 on I-40 near Exit 59.

Taylor, 65, and Prince were on their way from San Francisco to Arkansas, where Taylor was going to spend some time working on a house he and his wife own. The two buddies left California about 4:30 a.m. that day, and by 6 p.m., they were coming up on Exit 59, just east of Kingman, where Taylor usually pulls in at Love's Travel Stop to gas up his Toyota Matrix during his trips.

This time, Taylor and Prince didn't quite make it to Love's. About a quarter mile before the exit, several trucks had slowed down to about 35 mph on an incline. Taylor, who was traveling about 70 mph when he came up on the trucks, quickly decided to slow down and follow them to the exit, as he didn't have enough time to go around them in the short distance.

But the car behind Taylor couldn't slow down and struck the back bumper of Taylor's car, sending it into the median and shattering the windows. A frightened Prince jumped out of a window and onto the glass, cutting his feet, then ran east along the median. Taylor unsuccessfully ran after Prince before he was transported to the hospital.

"I couldn't catch him," said Taylor. "And I just knew he was going to try to cross traffic and get hit. So I started crying. I told the policeman who responded first about Prince and he said he would try to find my dog for me. I thought that was nice of him, but I sure couldn't see how he would be able to accomplish it when Prince had run off."

That policeman was Sean Osterman, a nine-year veteran of the Kingman Police Department, who actually responded as a part-time firefighter for the Pinion Pine Fire Department and treated Taylor for minor injuries. Osterman, 28, works in the police department's Neighborhood Services Bureau, which includes animal control. He saw Taylor's concern and offered to keep an eye out for Prince.

In fact, Taylor was so worried that he called off his trip to Arkansas and booked a room in a Kingman hotel so he could continue to search for his missing friend. Taylor handed out his flyers, rented a car and searched for Prince, and made several trips a day to Love's Travel Stop with high-powered binoculars he purchased to look for the dog.

"People were praying for us and they placed his picture and information on their Facebook pages," said Taylor. "It was amazing, because I was a stranger and just passing through Kingman, and everyone opened their arms to me. I had made up my mind I was going to stay here three months, looking for Prince. I just couldn't leave him."

About a week into his search, Taylor got an unexpected call from Osterman, asking him to describe Prince again and what the dog was wearing when he disappeared. Taylor said his heart jumped in his chest when the officer said he thought he had found Prince, whom he had taken to the Western Arizona Humane Society for safekeeping.

Taylor was reunited there with Prince and donated the reward to the organization when Osterman refused it.

"Mr. Taylor was worried about the dog not surviving after the wreck, and the chances of Prince surviving were minimal," said Osterman, who got a call from a resident at the east end of Airway Avenue that Prince was sitting on the porch. "But the dog was smart enough to make his way to civilization. It makes me feel good that we found him, but I can't take the reward money. I was just doing my job and this comes with the territory."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Road runner

I remember when a friend showed me the flyer which was left on her car and we immediately posted it on FB. We even took our off road vehicles out in the area by Loves and searched for the missing dog, but of course – no luck. We were extremely happy to learn that Prince was found and reunited with his loving best friend….Very happy ending

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014
Article comment by: Don Doughty

Sean is just one of the many "unsung heros" at KPD. They continually go about their business in a professional manner, and seldom hear "thanks" from those they diligently serve. Good job Sean!!

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Sante Fe Jay

This story made my whole weekend....AWESOME !!!

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Wow :)

Awesome! It is so nice to hear a story with a happy ending. Way to go Officer Osterman for going above and beyond the call of duty, and being a good human being. :) We need more people like this these days.

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Rick Shelby

And Prince lived happily ever after.
Great story!

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Pet Owner Pitbull lover

Awesome story! I'm so glad Prince was found, and reunited with his owner, thanks to Officer Osterman. :-)

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: monica sedillo

What a happy ending glad he was able to get his furry friend back, God Bless Mr.Taylor and Prince..

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

There are so many good dogs who do not have such great luck. It warms my heart to hear about such reunions as Prince and Taylor. They are so faithful and loving to us, dogs deserve the best we can give to them.

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Deacon Blues

I am so happy to know that this man found his dog. I saw the flyers all over the place and I felt certain that the dog would never be found, but this article is a welcome surprise of good news.

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: georgia kennel

This is what Kingman should be proud to be known for. If only everyone could adopt the attitude of Officer Osterman what a wonderful world it would be. Thank you for representing Kingman in such a wonderful light.

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Good Story

I am so glad to hear that Prince and his dad were reunited. I was one of the people who posted his pic on facebook and have often wondered if he was found alive and well. Best of luck to this gentleman and Prince- a great love story, to be sure!

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Teresa Wegscheid

As an animal lover, this story makes me so happy! Thank God Prince was found and reunited with Mr. Taylor.

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

Fantastic story. Thank you Officer Osterman, you are a credit to your department!

Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Article comment by: Nancy Rodriguez

What a heart warming story. I am so glad that we have an officer like Sean Osterman on our police force. Kudos to him for refusing the reward. He is great example of Kingman's finest!

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