Hudson Valley Family’s Dog Found After 1.5 Years Missing
A Hudson Valley family’s dog who went missing a year and a half ago was found living in the woods, eating animal carcasses to survive.
On Oct. 8, 2016, Bandit escaped from the Gardiner Animal Hospital. His family searched everywhere. While there were a few sightings, the family assumed their dog was gone for good after time passed, according to Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery.
On Feb. 8, a local resident, Tab Calvitti, spotted a black dog in the woods off a very busy road. She stopped and went into the woods to look for the dog, but the dog ran back deep into the woods and vanished.
Calvitti continued to leave food with the hopes of luring him, but she was never able to capture the dog.
On March 20, she contacted Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery. The rescue group headed out to Walden to try and find the elusive dog.
“These woods backed up directly to the Wallkill Rail Trail, which was 27 miles long and were blanketed with animal carcasses, most likely dumped by hunters. These carcasses were also a perfect food source for a lost dog and most likely the reason that Bandit eventually settled in these woods where he would remain for a year and a half,” Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery wrote in a Facebook post.
It took five days, a trap and two different enclosures to get Bandit to safety.
“Watching his antics on video were a constant source of amusement. He would chase the critters away from his enclosure, play with toys that we left for him and play bow (sic) and do his little playful dance in front of the enclosure,” Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery said.
Once the dog was captured, the rescue group read the name on his collar and called Bandit's family.
“They were in a state of shock and the first words out of their mouths were ‘omg he's alive!’ Tears of joy and relief flowed," Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery wrote.
Bandit traveled nearly 10 miles from the animal hospital he escaped from in 2016.
His family was concerned he may escape their fenceless yard and believes Bandit will be better off with someone who has a fenced in yard and can devote the time needed to rehabilitate Bandit.
“I applaud this family for doing the right thing by Bandit, they love him very much and only want what is best for him. We assured them that he will be in the best care and we will make sure that he will never have the chance to escape again,” Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery said on Facebook. “He was a year and a half when he went missing and has spent half his life living in the woods, he will need a lot of time, love and training to learn what it's like to live in a home again.”
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