EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - When you think of a survivor, the first thought that comes to mind most likely isn’t of a two-year-old Keeshond puppy named Terra June.
Since March 29, Terra June somehow survived life in the wilderness after wandering away from her Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota home.
“I was nervous maybe they got the wrong dog at first and then all of a sudden when I saw her I started bawling because I finally got my girl back,” Terra June’s owner, Lynnea Petersen, told Fox 9.
The puppy managed to travel three miles from Petersen’s home and survive in and around a heavily wooded area in Eagan. The 30-pound Keeshond nested in the yards of strangers, where homeowners fed her and reported her to police.
Some even confused Terra June for a raccoon or coyote.
“We have a high population of coyotes and other predators in the area which makes any small dog or any large dog surviving six months by itself incredibly difficult and rare,” said Bob Kent, an animal control officer with the Eagan Police Department.
Kent had been hot on Terra June’s tail for the past three months –his longest dog-hunt to date.
“I’ve invested a lot of time in this; a lot of burrs on my own shoes and pant cuffs from walking through the woods and now, a happy reunion with her mom,” Kent said.
On Monday, Kent put out a live trap near the area Terra June had been spotted. Within two to three hours, he had captured the dog.
Other than having to endure a few wood tick bites and a case of stomach worms, Terra June is expected to fully recover from her stint outdoors. As a part of the process, a groomer removed most of Terra June’s matted fur on Tuesday.
However, her reunion with Peterson couldn’t be sweeter.
“She’s like another child,” Petersen said.
Fortunately, Petersen had micro-chipped Terra June.
“Otherwise I may not have ever got her back,” Petersen said.
Eagan police tell Fox 9 that 90 percent of missing dogs are returned to their owners. Usually, the dog is found by police or a watchful neighbor within one to six hours of straying from home.