LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – After 101 lost days in the Las Cruces desert, dog Jingo has finally been reunited with her owner.
Jingo was lost in October when a transportation company’s dog handler stopped at a Love’s gas station outside of Las Cruces to take her on a bathroom break. She was already a tired dog and ran when the handler tried to put her on the leash.
That was October 5, 2021; The handler had to complete his route and abandon the dog after being unable to take her back to her kennel.
Monika Cirsch, Jingo’s owner, made several trips to Las Cruces and worked with local animal welfare groups to try to capture Jingo. Cirsch hails from Los Angeles, California.
But every attempt failed and weeks turned into months.
At first, Cirsch said she had an Apple Air tag on Jingo’s collar that would alert her when someone with an iPhone came near her, but she said those alerts were becoming less and less frequent.
“But then we got calls from staff in the area like, ‘Oh I saw her crossing the street or she was in the area,’ and I was like, okay, fine,” Cirsch said.
So Cirsch turned to the professionals for help. She reached out to Mike Noon with Catching Paws in California, who then supported Kimber Hysell of Waggin’ Tails in Oregon, both of whom handle donations.
“Kimber was finally successful in getting her on her second trip, but she had to use a special trap,” Cirsch said.
From there, the group took Jingo to a veterinary clinic in El Paso for a check-up. She was in good condition except for a few worms in her stomach.
“I think she was out there hunting, she had some bone fragments in her stomach, so someone either left her chicken bones or she was chasing small animals,” Cirsch said.
Hysell told KTSM she flew to Las Cruces multiple times before being able to capture them.
“I actually sent out some live feed cameras to put out in the desert to track their behavior,” Hysell said. “For four months we lived and breathed Jingo. The cameras assessed all night and realized we had to do things differently.”
Rescuers said local groups made it possible to find Jingo.
“None of this would be possible without the help of the local people who arranged for food distribution and recharging the camera batteries, along with Kimber’s dedication,” said Noon.
Cirsch said she worried about Jingo as the winter months rolled around, and she thought about predators like coyotes and bobcats.
“Once Jingo was secured in a box and in the car, we all felt a huge sense of relief,” Noon said.
Cirsch adds that Jingo is happy to be home and pretends she was never lost. However, she said she’s tired of going outside and she’ll keep training them so they can enjoy beach walks and hikes without running away.
“I’m just so grateful that she’s okay and back home,” Cirsch said.
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