Local resident Sandy Roberts saves 13-year-old German shepherd

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Thirteen-year-old German shepherd Sebastian was found by concerned Malibu residents Sandy Roberts, Shelly Crema, the Malibu Fire Department and local sheriff's deputies, on Jan. 26. Photo courtesy Shelly Crema.

Malibu resident Sandy Roberts helps many people find homes for dogs when they are in need. Roberts also works with kill shelters to find homes for dogs that may have less than 24 hours before being put down. 

“She does this from her heart and her own resources,” friend and neighbor Shelly Crema said.

On the night of Jan. 26, Crema got a call from Roberts, asking to meet her to help look for Sebastian, a 13-year-old German shepherd who ran after a coyote into the canyon, after owners requested help to find him.  

Roberts rescued Sebastian from a kill shelter and found a loving home for him. Crema said, “the love they have for each other is beyond heartwarming.”

“I met her and the owner Sally Benjamin at her home on Colony View Circle,” Crema said. “Sandy and I set off with our flashlights and goodwill, but it was pitch dark out, and the owner’s property is surrounded by ravine, fields, coyotes with zero visibility.”

Crema described that night they were looking for Sebastian. 

“The hill was steep, slippery but Sandy persevered with her flashlight in hand calling out for Sebastian,” Crema said. “She slipped at some point and slid down into a ravine and darkness. When she gathered herself she heard some moaning coming from the dog.  I could not get down the hill to find her or help her.”  

Crema said they decided to call the fire department for help to look for Sebastian as they could not see out of the ravine. Nothing less, Roberts persisted in finding Sebastian. 

“She knew the dog was nearby so she would not give up,” Crema said. “Once the local fire department and sheriff dispatched, the dog, who howls at sirens, made a faint howl when he heard them and Sandy was able to locate him.”

With the help of the fire department and local sheriff’s personnel, they were able to get both Sandy and Sebastian out of the canyon and into safety.

“Sandy’s tenacity, courage, heart, and love for animals was unrelenting that night,” Crema said. “She is not a qualified search and rescue, but she was amazing in her determination and skill to find and rescue this boy Sebastian for the second time.”

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Thirteen-year-old German shepherd Sebastian was found by concerned Malibu residents Sandy Roberts, Shelly Crema, the Malibu Fire Department and local sheriff’s deputies, on Jan. 26. Photo courtesy Shelly Crema.