Three Italian mastiffs who wandered the forest for weeks have been rescued about two months after hikers reported spotting the dogs on the Angeles Crest Highway, authorities said Tuesday.
There had been several sightings of the mastiffs in early March, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies from the department’s Crescenta Valley station and Montrose Search and Rescue Team also saw the dogs on several occasions, but could not get close enough to catch them.
The mastiffs remained on the hillsides of Mount Mooney “for several weeks, during the cold storms, rainy days and recently scorching temperatures,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook post.
Capturing the dogs also proved difficult for Simi Valley’s Dog Days Search & Rescue, who began its efforts on March 27, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The team built a large pen using panels and a soccer net, supplying it with food and water in hopes of capturing the dogs. Crew members started calling the dogs Steve, George and Grace.
Members from the Sheriff’s Department’s Montrose Search and Rescue Team checked in on the Simi Valley crews and also supplied some food and water, officials said.
But it wasn’t until Monday, a month after the Simi Valley group began their efforts, that all three dogs went into the pen.
After securing the dogs, they asked the Montrose Search and Rescue Team to help transport the three down the steep hillside onto the roadway, the Sheriff’s Department said. The rescue team spent nearly two hours to bring the animals to the ground using ropes and cages.
The dogs have since been taken to the rescue, where they would receive any necessary medical treatment before possible adoption, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
It’s unclear where the dogs came from, but officials suspect they had been abandoned. The Sheriff’s Department urged anyone who witnesses animal abuse or abandonment in the Angeles National Forest to call the Crescenta Valley sheriff’s station at 818-248-3464 or the Pasadena Humane Society at 626-792-7151.