Dog Who Survived in Woods for 3 Years Reunited With Long-Lost Family

A Wyoming family whose dog went missing three years ago when they were on a business trip got wonderfully surprising news that she had been found alive and well.

The George family lost Ginger when they were staying in Burlington, Iowa back in August of 2015. Not wanting to leave the dog at a kennel, they brought her along, but she escaped from the house they were renting.

“In August of 2015, a man was working at the fertilizer plant in Wever as it was being built. His wife came to town and visited. She brought a dog named Ginger with her. Ginger was her mom’s dog. Her mom had sadly passed away two months prior to their visit to Burlington and the family cherished the dog very much,” wrote Des Moines County Regional Humane Society.

“At some point of the visit, the dog, Ginger, got loose and could not be found. The family searched & searched & spent hundreds of dollars on ads trying to find her. Sadly, they were unsuccessful.”

Flash forward three years and Kandi Glick, who runs the Des Moines County Regional Humane Society, started to receive phone calls about a dog running loose in town.

“Ginger had somehow survived THREE winters on her own in the woods of Burlington,” the humane society wrote.

She was eating junk food being dumped at a car wash that she would dig up every night in the trash, Glick told KCRG News.

Des Moines County Regional Humane Society

She set up a trap with hot dogs and snagged Ginger, and she thought the dog looked a lot like the Georges’ missing dog. She dug through the missing pets Facebook page she runs looking for information and found the Georges’ phone number.

“I actually made a phone call to the husband and said, ‘Hey, were you in Burlington, Iowa about three years ago, this is going to be the weirdest phone call you ever get,'” Glick told KCRG.

They were pretty skeptical though as Ginger’s coat had grown out, and she had aged a lot.

“Ginger was in terrible shape, very matted and was scared of human contact. But other than heartworms, she is okay. And her heartworms are treatable,” the humane society wrote.

Des Moines County Regional Humane Society

But after a trip to the groomer they found a purple and lime green collar on her – something the family knew she was wearing when she went missing.

The family was thrilled and so were Burlington residents, who helped donate money to Glick so she could drive the eight hours out to Sioux Falls to meet up with the George family.

Their touching reunion was caught on camera by news crews. Ginger was a bit hesitant at first, but she quickly recognized her family and gave them lots of kisses.

“She’s just an angel,” Jennifer George said. “What she does …is she reunites families and she gave us back this dog that meant so much to us and without her, people wouldn’t have these moments.”