Maleah Ballejos is reunited with her dog Kingston in Paradise, Calif. (Ben Lepe via AP)

Dog reunited with family 101 days after California wildfire

The fire that razed the town of Paradise last fall killed 85 people, destroyed nearly 15,000 homes

A dog named Kingston is back with his family 101 days after he jumped out of their truck as they fled a devastating Northern California wildfire.

The 12-year-old Akita was reunited Monday with the Ballejos family, who fled the town of Paradise late last year, Sacramento television station KXTV reported .

READ MORE: Northern California fire officials begin agonizing search for dead

“When I found out, (it) just about brought me to tears,” said Gabriel Ballejos, Kingston’s owner. “I’m so proud of him. I can’t believe it. He’s a true survivor, and it’s a testament to the American spirit.”

Ballejos said they never lost hope and kept posting flyers and contacting shelters.

The family got a call after animal rescue volunteer Ben Lepe trapped Kingston on Sunday and took him to Friends of Camp Fire Cats, a local rescue group. The volunteers saw a missing dog message there and contacted the family.

Lepe said the dog had been spotted on surveillance cameras and that he set up a trap big enough for the Kingston on Saturday. He weighs at least 75 pounds.

“When I went to check it on Sunday, there he was,” Lepe said. “It was awesome to see him and know he would be fed and warm.”

Family members believe Kingston survived by eating skunks, because he hunted them before the fire and smelled of skunk when they picked him up.

The town of Paradise was levelled by a Nov. 8 blaze that killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 15,000 homes in the area.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP: Appledale homicide investigation still active

A 59-year-old man was found dead on May 20

Brrrrring in the New Year with the Polar Bear Swim

Kootenay Co-op Radio teams up with local stewardship groups for annual dip

Nelson Community Food Centre celebrates with Festive Food Days

The idea is to share healthful, festive food over the holidays with people not able to afford it.

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Most Read