A hardy St Bernard is recovering after spending 17 days all alone in the cold and snow of Minnesota.
Old Lady escaped from her foster owner back on January 4 and, despite extensive searches, nobody saw any sign of her for over two weeks.
On Monday the 10-year-old was finally spotted, her lead tangled up in some trees, by a member of the public, who called the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.
They in turn contacted Ruff Start Rescue (RSR), who were able to collect the dog who they had feared may not have survived the cold. Temperatures have rarely risen above freezing in the area in the past week or so, dipping as low as minus 14 Celsius at times.
“It was an intense rescue mission and we had to approach the situation very cautiously because she was scared and wanted to flee,” Azure Davis, executive director at RSR, wrote on Facebook.
“Julie Lessard and I were able to get close enough, get double slip leads on, and then Julie had to cut the leash out of the trees to get her unstuck.
“She was so cold and shivering. We think she has been tied up here since Friday.”
Old Lady, who had only recently been shaved before making her escape, was frost-bitten and malnourished but otherwise in reasonable shape.
St Bernards typically live for eight to 10 years so, at 10, Old Lady’s survival for such a long period in the cold is all the more remarkable.
It was the second time in her life Old Lady had been rescued.
She spent most of her life on a puppy farm in Wisconsin before being rescued first time around.