When great-grandmother Faye Emery's car was smashed in a head-on collision near Taupo, she went into a coma and two of her grandchildren were injured.
Ms Emery's two beloved chihuahuas were travelling with them. One was hurt - but the other, two-year-old Bubbles, was thrown from the car.
Volunteers are now on the hunt for Bubbles.
Some have barely slept in days as they search the bush for the tiny pet which, they fear, will be frightened and exhausted.
"She's probably resting somewhere, but where, we don't know," one volunteer says.
"It's been five days now that she's been gone. So she'll be very hungry - she's a very fussy eater," another says.
There have been numerous sightings, but no one has coaxed Bubbles to safety.
"She's in survival mode; she's not in her 'Bubbles the dog' mode, so her instinct at this point is to run and run for her life," a searcher says.
Now that Ms Emery has woken from her coma, the search for Bubbles is even more pressing.
"We really want to do this for her. I think she'd be heartbroken if we couldn't resolve this," a volunteer says.
A Facebook page, has been set up to help find Bubbles.
The volunteers hope the little pup will approach someone when she's ready to be found.