Three years later, Des Moines County Humane Society director Kandi Glick responded to calls about a loose dog near a car wash.
"We started getting a lot of calls saying there was a dog running loose in town," Glick told KSFY. "People said they saw a deceased dog, so I'd go to the spot where they'd say it was, and it wouldn't be there."
Glick said the dog was seen hundreds of times to the point that residents thought she belonged to someone in the neighborhood behind the car wash, but she had been living in the woods near the facility.
Glick set up a trap on June 8 and, according to a Facebook post, was able to rescue the red heeler.
“This is really funny to say, but McDonald's saved her life. People dumped food at the car wash and its McDonald's, its Taco Bell, its Burger King and she was digging every night in the trash,” Glick said. “The water that people washed their cars with, it’s just amazing she survived. We don’t know how she did it.
“Just for the record, the shelter does not have anything to do with the trapping of animals. This is something that I do on my own to help animals and people outside of my job at the Des Moines County Humane Society. I featured the post on our page more as an informational piece so people knew that this dog was finally caught. She has been spotted hundreds of times over the last three years.”
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The dog, who Glick named Hope, was photographed and posted on missing pets sites. Word got around, and some people recalled a dog that went missing in the area three years ago. Glick was able to contact the Georges and send them footage of Ginger.
“Her undercoat had grown out, she was twice as big as she is now, she had a lot of matting on her and of course, after three years her face has aged, so it just didn't look like the same dog,” Glick said.
A good wash and haircut revealed the purple and lime green collar Ginger had on when she went missing. Although faded, it was recognizable. They new it was Ginger.
Jennifer George and her 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, drove through a hail storm to meet Glick and Ginger halfway in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to reunite.
Although she was confused at first, Ginger soon recognized Samantha and cozied up to Jennifer George.
Because she was out on the street for so long, Ginger is heartworm positive. The family will be paying for the treatment in Wyoming.