Dog Goes On The Run For Six Months Evading Every Attempt To Bring Her Home
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Bad Girl! Dog Goes On The Run For Six Months, Tries To Join The Military, And Evades Every Attempt To Bring Her Home

One dog owner got more than she bargained for when her dog went on the run for the past six months. The dog evaded capture at every turn.

Virginia native Samantha Paulino adopted her dog Autumn from South Korea in 2023. From the start, Autumn demonstrated a lot of anxiety and wanted to be independent. However, Paulino couldn't predict how much. Although she started to warm up to Paulino, she ended up being her own dog.

"She was starting to lick me, show affection. She was starting to follow me and wanting to go on walks with me," Paulino told Fox News. In December, Autumn started her life on the run by taking off during a walk in Arlington's Virginia Square neighborhood. "She's a speedster. She very much runs and speeds through everything. So, if she gets loose and you try to chase her, she gets more frantic and just runs faster."

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Paulino began to do everything she could to find her dog. She printed flyers, alerted officials, and even started an Instagram page. While the sightings flowed in, Autumn was faster than anyone trying to capture her. Eventually, the sightings dwindled with Autumn last spotted near Arlington National Cemetery.

"I can't lie," said Paulino. "I almost, you know, lost hope at that point."

Fast forward to February, a woman named Katie said that she spotted the dog near the cemetery. Katie posted flyers for the pet owner at the nearby Fort Myer. "By the time Katie started posting flyers on the base, people on the base had started figuring out that, 'Oh, she's not a base dog,'" Paulino said."People from the military live there, so they thought that maybe she was just a dog being let loose."

Animal Welfare League of Arlington stepped forward to try to rescue the dog. However, Autumn had other ideas. The pet was fast and skittish.

Dog Evades Capture

"We dedicated ourselves to tending to Autumn's needs twice a day, going on-base (with permission) to feed her at her established feeding station, observing the area for her footprints and further familiarizing ourselves with her routines," animal control services coordinator Anna Barrett said on behalf of the AWLA. It took nearly six months of tracking to capture Autun.

The pet avoided any traps and also people.

"Autumn would not be tricked into going inside a trap no matter what delicious treat sat just beyond the trip plate," Barrett said. "Often, we'd sit quietly in our vehicles from afar and watch each other." Finally, they managed to capture the dog by using a trap inside of a trap. Finally, after six plus months, Paulino was reunited with her owner. The dog was none worse for wear. She now has a GPS tracker and a double-leash.

"She was the hardest, most difficult catch that they've ever had in [AWLA Chief of Animal Control] Jen [Toussaint]'s career," said Paulino. "So they're very invested in making sure that she doesn't escape again because, especially for this next two weeks, she might really want to be out again."