“I don’t know how he got to all these different cities, but he went everywhere.”
It’s not uncommon for lost dogs to wander far away from their homes. In dog rescuer Suzette Hall’s experience, that’s what sets them apart from dogs who are abandoned.
“The ones who are abandoned stay where their owners left them,” Hall told The Dodo. “But the ones who are lost just wander.”
So when she got a call about a recently-adopted dog named Koa who’d escaped from his new home, Hall knew that she might have a long journey ahead of her.
Hall never expected that the lost pup would walk 45 miles across California before finding the right forever home.
Hall and her rescue partner posted Koa’s information on local social media pages, making sure to let neighboring cities know he was missing.
“And then we started to get all these sightings,” Hall said. “I don’t know how he got to all these different cities, but he went everywhere.”
According to Hall, sightings of Koa stretched across a handful of cities in Southern California.
“He traveled from Yorba Linda to Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach to Westminster,” Hall wrote in a Facebook post. “All the police and all the different cities knew about him.”
After two months of traveling, Koa ended up in Westminster — about 45 miles from his adoptive home.
Hall responded to the sighting and found Koa hiding in a church. She set up her trap and waited, but Koa wouldn’t take the bait.
“No one could get him because he was so skittish,” Hall said.
But after two months of trying to catch him, Hall was determined to rescue Koa once and for all. With the help of two Westminster animal control officers, Hall was able to herd Koa into an enclosed space while the officers safely netted him.
“It was only a miracle that we got him,” Hall said.
Hall brought Koa straight to the vet and then called his adoptive parents, who relinquished Koa back to her.
Koa, who was incredibly skinny when Hall rescued him, got the vet care he needed and quickly recovered from his long journey. Then, he met his forever family.
“It took him forever to come out of his shell, but he’s just a love now,” Hall said.
Koa now has an amazing family and a loving home. When he’s not cuddling up with his humans, Koa can be found playing in his backyard. And he hasn’t tried to wander off again.
“His new mom just loves him,” Hall said. “He has the best life.”