(KTLA) — Three Italian mastiffs who wandered the Angeles National Forest in California for weeks have been rescued about two months after hikers reported spotting the dogs on a nearby highway, authorities said Tuesday.
There had been several sightings of the mastiffs in early March, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, but deputies could not get close enough to catch them.
The mastiffs remained on the hillsides of the state’s 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 a search and rescue team, 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, whom crew members named Steve, George and Grace.
It wasn’t until Monday, a month after rescue efforts began, that all three dogs went into the pen.
After securing the dogs, it took the rescue team 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.