For at least two years, a tiny Shih-Tzu known as Biscuit had been living on his own in the Franconia area of Fairfax County, officials said. He had been eluding authorities trying to catch him since January.
But on Saturday, they finally got their dog.
How he ended up on his own is unclear. Fairfax County Animal Control Officer Enna Lugo said that Biscuit was surviving by eating cat food and whatever else he could find.
Lugo said that she was notified about Biscuit on Jan. 22 and first laid eyes on him that day.
|Want to take Biscuit home?|
|Authorities hope the Shih-Tzu will soon be available for adoption. If interested, call Fairfax animal services at (703) 830-1100.|
"He was laying on the leaves and we went into the property where he was and we tried to walk to him, and as soon as he understood that we were going at him, he ran," Lugo said.
Over the next few months, Lugo had gone out to the area about two dozen times, she said. Sometimes she would just pass by the neighborhood to get information about Biscuit's whereabouts from residents or to see if she could spot the dog. She also tried trapping the him.
On Saturday morning, Lugo, other officers and volunteers finally succeeded. The team of about 14 people arrived at a home near Beulah Street and did not see Biscuit in his usual spot. But he was soon spotted nearby in a nest of leaves, officials said.
The group then largely surrounded Biscuit, caught him with a net and took him to a veterinarian.
"The only thing I could say is 'we got him, we got him,'" Lugo said.
Officials said that they did not know how much the efforts to catch Biscuit cost.
Once in the care of the vet, Biscuit was sedated, shaved, vaccinated and neutered. More than 40 ticks were removed from Biscuit, but he was largely in good health, said Dr. Wanda Pool, a veterinarian at Centreville's Deepwood Veterinary Clinic, which provides services through a contract with the county.
"I was really surprised," she said.
Pool estimated that the dog is about 3 years old. He weighs 10 pounds, and had an additional 3 pounds of hair on him when he was caught.
Lugo said that she will be fostering Biscuit so that he can adjust to living in a house with humans. After an adjustment period, the dog will be available to be adopted.