One dog owner is overjoyed after his missing pet returned home, nearly a month after disappearing from a Minnesota campsite.
Luigi, a 6-year-old Lab mix, went missing on June 25th near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota that is over a million acres in size.
The dog’s owner, Zane Brunette, told KARE 11 that the dog went missing on a camping trip — and he suspects Luigi was lured away by a group of dog thieves. “I think they wanted him. I think they were going to keep him,” he told the outlet.
Luigi was suddenly gone without a trace, and Zane helplessly searched the massive area, calling for his dog. “I knew we weren’t going to find him out there,” he told KARE. “But I was just completely in shock so I just kept going.”
The owner camped out for days looking for him, but had no luck. He put up missing dog fliers around the area, praying that Luigi would turn up somewhere. According to Amanda Kay, who was involved with the search, Luigi was not microchipped and was not wearing a collar when he disappeared.
Nearly a month went by with no word, and Zane worried about his dog, who was either in the hands of dognappers or alone in the wilderness.
But on July 24, Zane got a call from a resort owner who found a dog about 45 miles where Luigi was last seen.
Zane went right away, and knew it was his missing friend: “I called him and he comes right into my arms and I just picked him up and held him,” he told KARE 11.
Luigi was 15 pounds underweight, but amazingly did not have any serious injuries or scratches. It isn’t clear if he was taken in by the suspected dog thieves or spent weeks alone in the wilderness.
But Zane is just glad that Luigi defied the odds and made it home safe and sound. “He’s like the friendliest dog I’ve ever seen my entire life,” he said. “He’s just very, very special.”
“We are SO thankful for everyone who shared his information and helped to identify him,” Amanda Kay wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone for sharing this post and keeping an eye out for this precious pup.”
We’re so glad Luigi is finally home safe and sound! Share this great news! ❤️🐾