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High Points: Stolen pigs in Denver make their way back home

Paul E. Anna
High Points
This alert from Metro Denver Crime Stoppers came out Monday, Jan. 16. The pigs were found and returned to safety and their owners, unharmed, on Tuesday, Jan, 17.
Courtesy image

The feel-good story of the week came as tragedy was averted at Denver’s National Western Stock Show. You may have heard the tale of Doug and Roger — the visiting pigs who were stolen and then found alive and well. It is a heartwarmer.

There is nothing worse than losing a pet. They become such a part of our lives. Many of you may have followed the family looking for their lost dog this past summer as they offered up to a $5,000 reward for the return. It was not the money, but the heartache and hope for the dog’s return that drove them.

Often, that hope is in vain. But, occasionally, miracles happen. You might remember the story of Bella, an 8-pound Cockapoo that belonged to the Chaffin family who went missing while on a hike in July 2021 in Capital Creek. For four weeks, the Chaffins did everything they could to find the pup, searching tirelessly. In the end, fate would bring Bella home after she was found by a ranch worker in Old Snowmass following 28 days in the wilderness.



Then, there is the story of Panda, who, along with some other furry friends, went missing in Old Snowmass last week. “At last, all of our beloved four-legged family members are home!” Kate McBride posted on Facebook this week, much to the relief of all those who had been worried about the dogs.  

While Doug and Roger’s tale lasted just 48 hours, it may be equally miraculous. And, it has all the emotion of a Disney film. January is the month for Denver’s National Western Stock Show, which has been bringing stockmen and stockwomen and their animals to Denver for exhibitions since 1906. If you have been, you know. If you haven’t, you should plan on it.




Anyway, this year, the Lee family of Quincy, Washington — that would be parents John and Tanya along with their sons Myles and Blaine — drove 24 hours in their 20-year-old Ford F-350 with trailer attached, to Denver to show their pigs Doug and Roger in a competition scheduled for this week at the stock show. Following the long journey, they bedded for the night at a Comfort Inn on Tower Road, one of the many airport hotels not far from DIA. They parked the truck and trailer, with Doug and Roger ensconced inside, under a bright light in the parking lot in front of the Inn and considered their pigs safe for the night.

Alas, when day dawned on Sunday and they went out to feed Doug and Roger, the truck and the trailer — and, most importantly, the pigs — were nowhere to be found. While the family slept, someone had stolen them. Sunday’s Denver television news reports between the football games told the tale and featured interviews with Tanya who was positively distraught over the loss of the family’s pigs. It seemed like a story that would not end well.

But, evidently, the robbers had little use for the porcine treasures that meant so much to the Lee family. In the predawn hours on Tuesday, police found the truck and trailer abandoned not far from the hotel. Inside the trailer were the slightly dehydrated but none the worse for the experience Doug and Roger.

“We’re speechless and overwhelmed with joy and happiness that we have the truck and trailer back, but especially the pigs,” Myles Lee told Porkbusiness.com, which was following the story, as you would expect. And, rightly so. While the anguish of not knowing what had happened to their beloved durocs must have been excruciating, the joy of the reunion was incomparable.

On Wednesday, the boys, Myles and Blaine, were able to complete their goal of showing the 7-month-old pigs at the National Western Stock Show, with Doug in the Duroc Hog competition and Roger in the Spotted Hog event. While they did not take the Blue Ribbons in the Junior Market Swine Division event, Doug and Roger finished a respectable third and 10th, respectively.

Happy travels back to Quincy.