A white dog living with a pack of coyotes in the desert of Nevada for months has been rescued. Coyote Dog or Ghost, as he is known, had been spotted living among the wild animals by locals in the Inspirada neighborhood of Henderson. People recount seeing Ghost not only being accepted by the pack but also sometimes leading it.
“Many began to call him the Coyote Dog, but we liked the name Ghost, not only because he’s white but because he would disappear and be unable to catch for so many months,” Tracy Rubell wrote on GoFundMe.
Locals would spot Ghost running with the coyotes, mostly at night.
“Ghost would run through the neighborhood at night (some nights covering 5 to 6 miles of distance), and he was spotted running right amid a coyote pack,” Rubell continued. “The coyotes seemed to like Ghost and it appeared that they accepted him into their pack. He was also seen on many nights playing with these coyotes.”
But how could this unlikely situation be possible? The theory is that Ghost was dumped as a puppy and the coyotes took him in as one of their own.
“It seems like he may have been put out there between seven and eight months and somehow or another, the coyotes just accepted him,” Susan McMullen of the Southern Nevada Trapping Team told FOX5 news.
But recently, locals saw that Ghost was limping. That’s when a lot of people in the neighborhood thought it was best to try and catch him, but Ghost always managed to evade them despite his injury as he was still able to run “very fast.”
“Ghost joining up with coyotes would not have been such a problem, but many noticed that Ghost had a very bad limp so a lot of folks were worried that he would become prey to the coyotes,” Rubell wrote.
After many unsuccessful attempts, Mcmullen and her partner Timi Zondiros, independent trappers from Las Vegas, were called in to help.
The trappers set to work to track Ghost’s movements.
They tracked Ghost’s movements for about two weeks to pinpoint where he was hanging out the most. They searched near homes and the open desert for days and hours on end. Soon they knew the tracks Ghost used and laid a trap. It took just 6 hours for Ghost to smell the bait and walk into the trap.
“When he got into that crate…He just sat down. I think he was also relieved,” Zondiros recounted to Fox News. Both he and McMullen were relieved to get Ghost out of there.
What surprised McMullen and Zondrias the most was just how nice Ghost was. He wasn’t behaving like a feral pup at all.
“It was immediately determined by the Trappers that Ghost was a sweetheart of a pup,” said Rubell on GoFundMe. Even more remarkable is that Ghost shows no signs of aggression.
“He was skin and bones, so food was a priority, so the Trappers began feeding him right out of their hands (which is great for a dog who has been out running loose for so long),” Rubell added. “He also was very tolerant of the leash and once at the Trapper’s house, he would curl up in the dog bed that was in the crate, and roll over for belly rubs.”
“He is the sweetest most loving dog…he comes up to you, he wants to be petted, he wants to be held,” Zondiros described.
Ghost’s life in the wild has had a physical toll on the young dog. “Bite marks all over his body including his head; a broken toe that needs to be amputated; rocks/stones in his stomach (he was so hungry that he ate rocks); infections throughout (from bites) which will be treated with heavy doses of antibiotics; rash on many areas of his body which needs to be treated with a prescription shampoo; injury to his scrotum (so his scrotum will be removed during neuter surgery), and the list goes on…,” Rubell described. The GoFundMe for Ghost that Rubell is running has since raised over $14,000 for his vet bills and future training.
Once his medical work is complete Ghost will be placed in a rescue and eventually up for adoption. But Rubell admits there may be hurdles despite Ghost’s young age and friendliness. “Fully transitioning from living with coyotes to living with humans will take work,” she wrote. Zondrias and McMullen agree.
“He is not crate trained. He is not leash trained…he doesn’t sleep at night. He paces; he pants, nighttime is really hard for him,” McMullen described. But no one is giving up on Coyote Dog now.
Everyone involved wants this incredible dog to be loved and will make sure he is adopted into a loving home.
Pupdate February 2023: Ghost is reunited with his family!
Ghost’s story took a dramatic turn when Christy Cabada stepped forward to say that Ghost became a member of her family when he was just a puppy and went by the name of Hades. However, last August, her family says Hades went missing. Jump forward six months, and Ghost was rescued.
Cabada was only one of several families who came forward to claim Ghost was theirs. So the Animal Foundation put the dog on legal hold for 10 days while they sorted out the legitimacy of the claims. It gave the Cabada’s family opportunity to show their proof and the Foundation determined they had overwhelming proof that Ghost/Hades was there.
From the reunion video of Ghost/Hades meeting the family, it certainly appears he remembers them!
We’re happy Ghost/Hades is back home where he belongs!
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