BROWNSBURG, Ind. - A missing dog that brought search volunteers out into sub-zero temperatures has been reunited with his owner.
A beagle named "AJ" was thrown from a car that flipped over several times on Interstate 74 near Brownsburg last week, prompting several animal rescue volunteers to mobilize search parties into the late night hours over the weekend.
"Amazing," said Katie Faircloth after she was able to corral the nervous dog on Monday afternoon off Route 550 East.
"He looks pretty good," she said, adding that he may have been suffering from frost bite when he was found.
Faircloth said someone spotted the dog and posted a message on social media, using a popular message board known as Indy Lost Pet Alert.
The person who spotted the dog could not capture it.
"He would not come to anybody," said Faircloth.
An avid animal lover and rescue fan, Faircloth said she searched several streets near the spot where AJ was sighted, and she soon spotted him.
She said she knew not to approach him or shout his name, based on social media posts and conversations with the owner, so she knelt down and reached out with her hand.
She said she calmly used a phrase that the owner said he typically responds to, "Let's go," and the dog then came close to her.
"I just grabbed him for dear life," she said.
The dog was loaded into a volunteer's car and taken to an area veterinarian for treatment. The owner, who had been hospitalized from last week's crash, was reunited with the dog at that clinic.
Faircloth said six or seven volunteers had been combing the neighborhoods on Monday as temperatures dipped below zero. She said perfect strangers were offering help, driving volunteers through the area in their four-wheel drive vehicles.
Searchers said that spot where the dog was found indicates that the dog actually backtracked, as he was found in an area that had already been searched several times.
He rushed into a wooded area behind some homes when Faircloth and other searchers approached, but he soon stepped out and walked through snow drifts into her arms.