A Colorado hiker’s dog was found alive on a highway eight days after they were supposed to return home from a hike.
Josh Hall, 27, and his dog, Happy, began their hike in Boulder County at the Hessie Trailhead on February 3. Search and rescue crews began searching for them that night, hours after a severe winter storm was reported to have hit the area, ABC News reported.
There was no sign of the pair until Thursday, when Happy was discovered on a highway seven to nine miles away from the trail, according to his family.
Happy shed about 10-15 pounds, but he showed no signs of frostbite, Hall’s stepfather, Nick Vukson, told KMGH.
“Most of us have no idea how he got to that place because we’re not even looking in that area,” Hall’s mother, Laura Vukson, said.
More than 70 people have looked for Hall since he was reported missing, authorities said, but search efforts had been called off due to dangerous weather conditions.
Hall, who is an experienced hiker, began his hike with his dog around 9:30 a.m. February 3, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
They were supposed to have returned home by 5:00 p.m. for an online class, his family said.
The Boulder County Communications Center received word that Hall went missing shortly after 6:00 p.m. that day.
“Based on the location of Josh’s last cellphone ping, the terrain, and the belief that he was attempting to hike to Devil’s Thumb Lake, search crews have narrowed down the highest probability area where we believe Josh is,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Hall’s family regained a sense of hope after Happy was found healthy, but are trying not to fear the worst about Hall.
Hall was last seen wearing a dark hat and a green khaki jacket and was believed to have carried a grey or green backpack along with a black leash. His estimated height is 6’4,” and his estimated weight is 200 pounds.
Anyone with information leading to Hall’s whereabouts is urged to contact Boulder County dispatch at 303-441-4444.