Dog Missing for 4 Months Found Trapped in Snow on California Mountain

A dog that was missing for four months has been rescued and returned to its owner after being found stuck in 5 feet of snow in the Twin Peaks mountain, west of South Lake Tahoe.

The dog, Russ, was separated from its owner in August when it got scared and ran away during the Caldor fire near Lake Tahoe, California.

The owner is a traveling nurse who was forced to leave without his dog when the city was evacuated as the Caldor wildfire swept through Lake Tahoe, according to a report by KKTV News

Community Animal Response Team, Tahoe Paws, found Russ stuck in snow 5 feet deep on December 16, 2021.

The details of the rescue and reuniting of Russ with its owner were explained on Tahoe Paws Facebook page. The full post can be read here.

Posted on January 4, it read: "Happy endings are always welcome, especially around the holidays.

"On Thursday, December 16th, Director Wendy Jones was notified of a Facebook post about a dog that was located near Twin Peaks (west of South Lake Tahoe).

"It was in the snow, apparently unable to move, and was growling at the individual who observed it."

The post continued: "Wendy called upon TLC 4 Furry Friends and Tahoe Paws volunteers, who suited up with snow shoes, dog rescue equipment and a sled from Officer Shumaker.

"The dog was tracked up the mountain, and finally located under a tree not moving. The volunteers were elated when he opened his eyes and lifted his head.

"They were able to place him on the sled, on top of a volunteer so he was kept warm and calm. Since it was dark, the trek down the mountain was slow and methodical."

Speaking to KKTV News, the two volunteers that found the dog, Leona Allen and Elsa Gaule explained their joy after finding Russ.

Allen said: "So I followed the tracks and all of a sudden, I saw this dark shape under the tree and then he opened his eyes and I'm pretty sure I screamed."

While laughing she added: "I'm pretty sure Elsa heard me down the mountain."

Gaule said: "I kind of petted him under the chin a little bit and he did that thing where a dog rests his head in your hand. He is here, okay what is next, we didn't really think about that.

"I look over at Leona and I go 'how do you feel about riding down in a sled with him?'"

Gaule closed by remarking that it was good to end 2021 on a more positive note. She said: "It was so heart-warming especially around the holidays, the end of the year.

"The year was so hard on everybody and then just to have this really happy ending and to be a part of that was pretty special."

The Tahoe Paws Facebook post noted that Russ was able to be reunited with its owner due to a microchip located in the dog.

It added the owner was "ecstatic" to find out his dog was alive after assuming "Russ had been lost for good."

The post closed by stating Russ and his owner have since been reunited and also highlighted the importance of reporting missing animals and microchipping your pets.

Newsweek has contacted Tahoe Paws for comment

Dog
Stock image of a dog and an owner in the snow. A dog that had been missing for months was found in 5 feet of snow on a California mountain. Getty Images