A mysterious dog discovered roaming with a coyote pack in Nevada is on his way to a forever family — a family of humans, that is.
Coyotes are a common sight in the desert, but, starting last July, folks in the city of Henderson kept noticing something unusual: an all-white dog that seemed to travel with a local pack, tail wagging like a flag.
The white dog would flee when approached by humans — hence the nickname, Ghost. Neighborhood groups and individuals began sharing sightings and compiling clues about the situation.
Here’s a video local agent Jerwin Laforteza posted to local Inspirada Real Estate’s Facebook group showing the pack roaming a local neighborhood.
The dog was believed to have been dumped as a puppy, and rumors spread that he might even have been the leader of the coyote pack.
Then, one day, an onlooker noticed that Ghost was limping. Professional trappers were brought in to catch the dog.
”He was actually just running with them and eating with them, but then he started limping, and we were afraid limping that the coyotes could turn on him,” Susan McMullen, of the Southern Nevada Trapping Team, told Las Vegas TV station KVVU.
“We were very nervous about where he was, how he was,” said Timi Zondiros, McMullen’s partner.
After two weeks of watching Ghost and monitoring his movements, the trappers finally captured him through the use of a trap baited with food. And not a moment too soon, as his injuries were troubling: they included infected bites all over his body, a broken toe that required amputation, a skin rash and injured genitalia.
Ghost’s poor stomach contained multiple rocks, leading rescuers to theorize that he’d been so hungry he started eating them.
A GoFundMe account was set up to assist with Ghost’s medical care and to help a potential new owner. It mentions that Ghost was likely with the wild coyotes for at least six months. According to KVVU, rescuers think he may have been dumped in the desert as a pup, then adopted by the coyotes.
His possible beginnings as a domestic dog were quickly apparent after he was trapped, though.
“He is the sweetest, most loving dog,” Zondiros said. “He comes up to you, he wants to be petted, he wants to be held.”
Ghost received vet care at the Amor Peludo rescue in Las Vegas and is currently being held at The Animal Foundation shelter in Las Vegas, according to the GoFundMe. Eventually, Zondiros hopes he’ll make a fantastic pet, although he’ll need an understanding owner who can deal with the unique challenges this coyote-raised dog will offer (for example, he is not crate-trained and apparently doesn’t sleep at night).
The GoFundMe is not taking donations right now; the page says that Ghost’s new fame has led to some false claims, presumably of ownership, which must be settled before he can be adopted out.
What a good boy! And what an adventure! Here’s to hoping Ghost heals up and gets a great home soon.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.