Dog missing for 3 months rescued from remote Vancouver Island cave
VICTORIA -- A lost dog that was rescued from a cave on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast has been returned to its owner after it was missing for more than three months.
Matty Johnson and Zach Regan went for an overnight surfing and fishing trip near the Juan de Fuca trail last week. On their travel back home to Sooke on Saturday, something on the shore near Magdalena Point caught their attention.
“Just glancing in the caves as we were going by, I saw tan legs walk out, just a glimpse, and I thought, ‘Oh that looks like an animal,’” said Regan.
The pair steered their fishing boat over to the animal and were eventually able to help swim with the animal back onto their boat.
The two friends bundled the dog in a life jacket and put her inside of a surf bag to stay warm as they made the trip home to Sooke.
Leslie Steeves, the founder of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM), said as soon as she saw the location she knew there was more to the story.
Late Sunday night, after CTV News aired the story, Steeves says she received a call from someone claiming to be the dog’s owner.
“It blew my mind I, couldn’t comprehend it,” Regan told CTV News on Monday. “She was in shock too. As she was talking I was like, ‘How is this possible?’”
“I was sitting with (the dog) and I looked at the photo and I could see right away that this is the same dog and I couldn't believe it. It was very shocking,” he said.
It turns out the dog’s name is Stella, and she had been lost and alone since May 2.
“Believe it or not they were on their honeymoon on May 2 on a hike with their dogs and their dog, Stella, that we found, vanished,” said Regan.
The couple searched for five days for their lost dog. Regan said they found the dog close to where she was lost.
“So for three months she was there in that area doing whatever to survive,” he said. “I think it’s miraculous. It’s a god***n miracle, it’s one of the best things ever.”
Stella was reunited with her owner early Monday morning.
“As soon as Stella had seen the car and her owner she perked up 10 times more than she did this morning and they had their reunion really fast,” said Regan.
The two friends who found Stella say that this is the best-case scenario and they’re happy to have been a part of getting the lost dog back home.