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

Laura Sacks wins Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

Sacks is the second recipient of the award supporting women environmental activists

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

LETTERS: The other side of the Women’s Centre story

From readers Vita Luthmers and Hannah Hadikin

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Most Read