Expert reveals how family's dog could have survived for 10 weeks after owner sadly died on hike

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By stefan armitage

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Following the miraculous rescue of a family's beloved pet dog, an expert has shared how the Jack Russell Terrier could have survived for so long in the mountainous wilderness.

This week, it was sadly revealed that the body of Rich Moore had been found in the Rocky Mountains. The 71-year-old Pagosa Spring native had ventured out on a hike with his beloved dog, Finney, in the hopes of scaling the 12,500-foot Blackhead Peak on August 19.

Sadly, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office revealed shortly after that Moore never returned home.

Following the discovery of Moore's vehicle, Fox News reported that search-and-rescue teams scoured the area for more than 2,000 hours in the hope of finding the man and his dog. Sadly, the search was unsuccessful.

Nearly three months later, on October 30, a hunter discovered Moore's body over two miles east of the summit. Next to Moore's body was Finney, miraculously alive. It was later revealed that Moore had died of hypothermia, per Archuleta County Coroner Brad Hunt.

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Moore and Finny went missing back in August. Credit: Colorado Missing Persons Organization

Blackhead Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.

According to CBS News, Finney lost half her body weight while missing - weighing just 6lbs after finally being rescued.

After being discovered, she was transported to a veterinarian for treatment and is now back home with her family.

Now, Delinda VanneBrightyn with Taos Search and Rescue (TSAR) has shared how Finney could have survived such a long time on the mountain.

VanneBrightyn - who was also one of the first responders in the search for Moore - hailed Finney's rescue as a "magnificent story of survival", and highlighted her dedication to Moore.

"Jack Russells are pretty fierce, I have to say, they're tough little dogs," she said. "If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story."

Per CBS News, VanneBrightyn - who also spent years training dogs - also revealed that it is likely that Finney survived by hunting small animals such as mice. VanneBrightyn adds that the three-year-old Jack Russell Terrier would have also managed to avoid predators found in the mountains - such as bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.

Thankfully, Moore's wife - Dana Holby - has since revealed to the Associated Press that Finney is "doing well" despite the horrific ordeal.

"She has gained almost all of her weight back and her strength is almost where it was. She is the miracle dog," Holby said. "She is now three, very clingy, and will not let me out of her sight.

"Her ravenous appetite has calmed down, but at first she could not get enough to eat and wanted food at all times of the day and night."

"[Finney] is such a comfort to me and a great companion on hikes," Holby said, revealing that the pooch is back on hiking trails.

And speaking of her late husband's final moments, she added: "I know that [Finney] was with Rich to the very end and somehow that should be a comfort. I don’t know how she did it, but she was there when he needed her."

Following Moore's discovery, TSAR said in a statement: "Delinda and TSAR would like to send our condolences to the family, but are glad they were able to gain some closure as well as bring their dog back home."

Our thoughts continue to go out to Moore's family at this time and we wish Finney all the best with her continued recovery.

Featured image credit: Colorado Missing Persons Organization

Expert reveals how family's dog could have survived for 10 weeks after owner sadly died on hike

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Following the miraculous rescue of a family's beloved pet dog, an expert has shared how the Jack Russell Terrier could have survived for so long in the mountainous wilderness.

This week, it was sadly revealed that the body of Rich Moore had been found in the Rocky Mountains. The 71-year-old Pagosa Spring native had ventured out on a hike with his beloved dog, Finney, in the hopes of scaling the 12,500-foot Blackhead Peak on August 19.

Sadly, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office revealed shortly after that Moore never returned home.

Following the discovery of Moore's vehicle, Fox News reported that search-and-rescue teams scoured the area for more than 2,000 hours in the hope of finding the man and his dog. Sadly, the search was unsuccessful.

Nearly three months later, on October 30, a hunter discovered Moore's body over two miles east of the summit. Next to Moore's body was Finney, miraculously alive. It was later revealed that Moore had died of hypothermia, per Archuleta County Coroner Brad Hunt.

size-large wp-image-1263237272
Moore and Finny went missing back in August. Credit: Colorado Missing Persons Organization

Blackhead Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.

According to CBS News, Finney lost half her body weight while missing - weighing just 6lbs after finally being rescued.

After being discovered, she was transported to a veterinarian for treatment and is now back home with her family.

Now, Delinda VanneBrightyn with Taos Search and Rescue (TSAR) has shared how Finney could have survived such a long time on the mountain.

VanneBrightyn - who was also one of the first responders in the search for Moore - hailed Finney's rescue as a "magnificent story of survival", and highlighted her dedication to Moore.

"Jack Russells are pretty fierce, I have to say, they're tough little dogs," she said. "If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story."

Per CBS News, VanneBrightyn - who also spent years training dogs - also revealed that it is likely that Finney survived by hunting small animals such as mice. VanneBrightyn adds that the three-year-old Jack Russell Terrier would have also managed to avoid predators found in the mountains - such as bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.

Thankfully, Moore's wife - Dana Holby - has since revealed to the Associated Press that Finney is "doing well" despite the horrific ordeal.

"She has gained almost all of her weight back and her strength is almost where it was. She is the miracle dog," Holby said. "She is now three, very clingy, and will not let me out of her sight.

"Her ravenous appetite has calmed down, but at first she could not get enough to eat and wanted food at all times of the day and night."

"[Finney] is such a comfort to me and a great companion on hikes," Holby said, revealing that the pooch is back on hiking trails.

And speaking of her late husband's final moments, she added: "I know that [Finney] was with Rich to the very end and somehow that should be a comfort. I don’t know how she did it, but she was there when he needed her."

Following Moore's discovery, TSAR said in a statement: "Delinda and TSAR would like to send our condolences to the family, but are glad they were able to gain some closure as well as bring their dog back home."

Our thoughts continue to go out to Moore's family at this time and we wish Finney all the best with her continued recovery.

Featured image credit: Colorado Missing Persons Organization