A golden retriever that had been lost for three months was reunited with her family after she was spotted by Colorado deputies during a drone training exercise, authorities said.
The pup, named Farrah, was spotted Sunday in the area where she was last seen with the help of the drone’s infrared camera, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said.
Farrah is now happily at home with her owner, Taylor Salazar, although she weighs half of her original body weight and needs to have one of her legs amputated, according to KRDO. The dog’s vet said she may have been hit by a car.
The pup was adopted by Salazar as a companion dog after her husband Fili was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2019.
“We needed something to brighten up our household,” she told the outlet. “And she did just that. He was in love with her the minute he saw her.”
Fili died three months later, but the dog continued to serve as a source of comfort.
The dog disappeared after Salazar’s father had a seizure while driving and crashed near US 50 and Colorado 9 in a dark, rural area, she said. The dog ran away from the scene.
Although three months passed, Salazar remained convinced that Farrah was still out there surviving as there were local sightings, including surveillance footage showing the pooch drinking water near farmland. But no one who saw the dog was able to catch her, Salazar said.
“If they got too close, she’d run away and she knew where to go. She was hiding,” she said.
A dispatcher from the sheriff’s office knew about Farrah and suggested the department try to find the dog as part of its drone training.
Salazar, who joined deputies at the scene for the search, threw chicken on the ground after Farrah had been located by the drone to lure her towards them.
Suddenly, Farrah “stuck her head through the barbed wire fence, and then the next minute she’s laying in my lap and I was like, ‘I got her!’” Salazar told KRDO.
“Within minutes, deputies spotted her using the drone’s infrared camera. A short time later, Farrah was reunited with her family. She is safely on her way home, and the UAS team was able to practice some very valuable search and rescue techniques with our drone!” The Sheriff’s Office wrote.
Salazar said Farrah is still adjusting to living at home but is doing well. She said she believes her late husband may have helped bring their dog back to her.