Colorado hiker finds dog missing in Rocky Mountains for 5 weeks
According to reports, a dog who ran away from his home in Colorado five weeks ago was miraculously found in the Rocky Mountains by a hiker who heard the faintest howl in the distance.
The 9-year-old Sheltie named Riley somehow survived more than a month in the treacherous terrain after leaving his owner’s farm in April.
According to Summit Daily, he was saved when hiker Zach Hackett heard a single “yip” and spotted the dog, who had lost energy and was starving.
“He knew he was in trouble. He knew he had to be rescued,” Hackett told the news outlet. “So that little ‘yip’ was the only energetic effort he had that night. It was, ‘Hey, save me.’”
Hackett wrapped the black-and-white pup in a windbreaker and carried Riley down the mountain to safety, including across the Blue River, for two hours. In some parts of the mountain the snow was still several feet deep.
Days later, he was reunited with his owner, Mike Krugman, who was grateful to have the dog back.
Riley, one of six dogs in the Krugman home, was actually Mike’s late wife’s dog. She died in January.
“He was my wife’s dog, so he always sleeps on her pillow,” Krugman said, according to KDVR.
Riley was released on April 8 to roam the property, and Krugman believes the deep snow meant he was able to walk over the fence and just keep walking from there.
After being unable to find Riley, he called Summit Lost Pet Rescue for help.
“Then, five weeks and a day later, I got a call from the animal shelter, someone found him,” Krugman said, according to the broadcaster.
“He’s traveled 4+ miles,” Krugman added. “We live at 8,200 feet and he was found at 12,000 feet.”