(HELENA) A 10-year-old dog lost in the woods for a month has been reunited with her owner.

MTN spoke with the vet who helped nurse the dog back to health and has more on the emotional reunion.

“The whole staff crowded into the room, and everyone was crying. It was the first time we could see her lift up her tail and wag so she clearly recognized him and she feels good enough that she could recognize that he was there,” said Heidi Wampler, Veterinarian, and Owner at Alpine Animal Clinic.

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A clinic technician found Sandy while she was camping at Kading campground near the Little Blackfoot River.

“She was having a hard time standing. They shaved her; she was covered in feces, covered in ticks, grass seeds, and gnats,” said Wampler.

The chow-mix was in rough condition after traveling 18 miles over rough terrain from Deer Lodge.

“Another day or two and she would have been gone,” added Wampler.

The priority was getting Sandy healthy.

“Run some blood work, get her some food and tuck her in.”

Second priority was finding the owner.

“We put out a post on Facebook and asked people to share her image.”

The post was shared almost 5,000 times and reached 200,000 people, and it worked!

“Some friend of the owner saw the post and contacted him letting him know that she was probably here,” said Wampler.

Sandy’s owner picked her up Friday morning

Alpine Animal Clinic donated all the care they provided Sandy.

The vet told us the owner is experiencing some hard times right now, and the clinic will be accepting donations to give to the owner for future care for Sandy.

If you would like to help and donate you can visit them online in person.



Alpine Animal Clinic website:


1801 Cedar St
Helena, MT 59602


Reporter: Sara Stinson & Alana Cunningham