GALVESTON — “We busted Ole Blue out of jail. Homeward bound,” the text from Ricky Mitchell read. 

With that, the journey home began for a Galveston pit bull that went missing eight months ago only to be found at an Indiana animal shelter. Blue is scheduled to be home this afternoon for a reunion with her owner, JoeAnn Navarro.

Blue was just a few weeks old in May when she disappeared from Navarro’s Galveston backyard. Navarro believes Blue and another pit bull named Maggie were stolen.

For weeks, Navarro searched for her missing dog, to no avail. Then a phone call earlier this month from the Kokomo, Indiana Humane Society Shelter brought a smile to Navarro’s face.

Thanks to a microchip that Navarro had implanted in Blue, the shelter 1,100 miles away was able to track down its owner. The rub was that Navarro, 61, didn’t have the funds to retrieve Blue.

But after a story in The Daily News, dozens of people offered to help. Among the first to offer to bring Blue home was Mitchell, a retired Galveston County Sheriff’s Office deputy who called the newspaper’s article “divine intervention.”

So on Wednesday, Mitchell, his brother Bill Russell and fellow sheriff’s office retiree Bobby Stanton took off for Indiana. 

The men posted photos of the state signs they passed along the way. At about 1:15 p.m. Friday, Mitchell sent a photo of himself with Russell standing under the “Welcome to Indiana sign.” 

Soon after they were in Kokomo.

“We loaded (Blue) in the truck, and when I went to go finish up the paperwork, she barked at me as if to say, ‘Let’s get going before (the shelter) changes its mind,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell sounded as emotional as his newfound friend.

“She’s a beautiful dog,” Mitchell said, his voice breaking with emotion. “Just beautiful and so sweet.”

Mitchell said he and his fellow rescuers would drive through the night to get Blue home today. He said the drive should take about 20 hours and the entourage should arrive at the Galveston Island Humane Society about 1 p.m. today.

Navarro can’t wait.

“I’m so happy I can’t express how grateful I am,” she said. “I’ll be so excited so see my girl home.”

It will be more than a reunion with her dog. It will also be the first in-person meeting between Navarro and Mitchell.

The two just missed each other Tuesday when Mitchell picked up a crate and paperwork at the Galveston shelter.


Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

(10) comments

Jay Ewend

Three retired Galveston County Sheriff's Deputies, a jail break, a newspaper reporter (Clark Kent), and a dog named Blue.Only thing missing is Willie Nelson signing ... ON THE ROAD AGAIN! I hope in Sundays paper we will have a photo of all of the HERO'S, TJ included. Great way to start the day off!

Jay Ewend
The Dishwasher

Ps : My father is a retired deputy sheriff back in Peoria,Illinois... Lunch is on the house for 3 deputies, Clark Kent, and their wives at The Milk Pail... soon to be Simply Fresh Restaurant.


Jay Ewend

Check that... 2 retired deputies and a good brother! Everyone is still invited for lunch!


Welcome Home, Blue. You good dog you.

Bill Jones

Has anyone checked Michael Vick's alibi?

Welcome home Blue!

Carl Curmudgeon


If Obama finds out, he'll dispatch the White House Chef to prepare lunch!!!

angel nonea

The article states, Blue was just a few weeks old in May when she disappeared from Navarro’s Galveston backyard...

Why was she keeping little puppies in her backyard, especially those just a few weeks old. I question the quality of care this dog will receive from JoeAnn Navarro. Did anyone do a home check on her before returning this dog to her......

abbey conway

Another case of somebody stealing a dog. Lowlife.

David Hedricks
David Hedricks

Road trip!

Carl Abrams
Carl Abrams

Just to throw in a question - if the dog was found in the northern part of Howard County, perhaps it's just because he got confused about the signs? I'm being facetious to a certain extent, but just across the Howard - Cass county line is the town of Galveston .... Indiana. Coincidence?

Jan Van Dusen

What a great group of guys, to do that! Thank you!! You are so sweet. I hope Ms. Navarro already got the other dog, Maggie, back. So sad that someone stole her dogs. I'd plant something with sharp thorns on that fence and raise the height too, and keep the dogs indoors except for brief periods with supervision. You can't trust anyone, I guess. Except these 3 heroes.

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