(UPI) A dog who went missing while his owner was preparing to evacuate during California's Caldor Fire was reunited with his family four months later after being rescued from deep snow.
The nonprofit TLC 4 Furry Friends & Tahoe PAWS Animal Response Team said in a Facebook post that the pit bull terrier mix, named Russ, escaped from his owner's vehicle in the Tahoe area in August.
The animal's owner had been in the Tahoe area for a temporary job and was preparing to evacuate due to the Caldor Fire when Russ escaped, the post said.
The owner reported Russ missing and searched the area for the canine, but eventually "it was assumed that Russ had been lost for good," the rescue group said.
The rescue team said a skier near Twin Peaks, west of South Lake Tahoe, reported a dog that appeared to be in distress in deep snow, and El Dorado County Animal Services contacted TLC 4 Furry Friends & Tahoe PAWS for assistance.
The rescue team used a sled to bring the dog down from the mountain and he was taken to a veterinarian, where he was found to be in good health. El Dorado County Animal Services scanned the canine for a microchip and he was identified as Russ.
"When contacted, the owner was ecstatic to find out that his dog was alive," the Facebook post said.
The nonprofit said severe snowstorms in the area delayed Russ' reunion with his owner for about 10 days.
"With the assistance of EDC Animal Services, volunteers with TLC 4 Furry Friends & Tahoe PAWS visited Russ every day to remind him that he was loved until he could make the journey home," the post said.
Russ was reunited with his owner Dec. 26.
"Happy endings are always welcome, especially around the holidays," the rescue group said.Copyright 2022 by United Press International