LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – After 101 days lost in a Las Cruces desert, Jingo the dog was finally reunited with her owner.

Jingo was lost back in October when a dog transportation company handler stopped at a Love’s gas station outside Las Cruces to take her on a bathroom break. She was already a weary dog and took off when the handler tried to put her leash on.

That was on October 5, 2021; the handler needed to finish his route, thus leaving the dog behind after he couldn’t get her back into her kennel.

Monika Cirsch, Jingo’s owner, took several trips to Las Cruces and worked with local animal welfare groups to try and capture Jingo. Cirsch is from Los Angeles, California.

However, each attempt failed and weeks turned to months.

At first, Cirsch said she had an Apple Air Tag on Jingo’s collar which would notify her when someone with an iPhone got near her, but she said those notifications came less and less often.

“But then we were getting calls from employees in the area like ‘oh I saw her crossing the street or in the area’ and I was like okay good,” Cirsch said.

That’s when Cirsch turned to the professionals for help. She reached Mike Noon with Catching Paws in California, who then assisted Kimber Hysell from Waggin’ Tails in Oregon, both of who run off donations.

“Kimber on her second trip was finally successful in getting her but she had to use a specialized trap,” Cirsch said.

From there, the group took Jingo to an animal hospital in El Paso to be reviewed. She was in good condition with the exception of a few worms in her stomach.

“I think she was hunting out there, she had some bone fragments in her stomach so someone left her either chicken bones or she hunted small animals,” Cirsch said.

Hysell told KTSM she flew to Las Cruces several times before she could capture her.

“I actually went ahead and shipped some live feed cameras to be able to put out in the desert to be able to track her behavior,” Hysell said. “For four months, we lived and breathed Jingo. It was cameras all night long assessing, realizing we have to do this different.”

The rescuers said local groups made it possible to find Jingo.

“Without the help of locals who managed the distribution of food and camera battery charging duties, combined with the dedication of Kimber, none of this would be possible,” Noon said.

Cirsch said she worried about Jingo as the winter months came and she thought about predators such as coyotes and bobcats.

“Once Jingo was secured in a crate and inside the car, the huge sense of relief fell upon us all,” Noon said.

Cirsch adds that Jingo is happy to be home and acts as if she was never lost. However, she said she is weary to go outside and she will continue training her so they can enjoy walks on the beach and hiking without running off.

“I’m just so thankful she’s okay and back home,” Cirsch said.

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