Maleah Ballejos is reunited with her dog Kingston in Paradise, Calif. (Ben Lepe via AP)

Dog reunited with family 101 days after California wildfire

The fire that razed the town of Paradise last fall killed 85 people, destroyed nearly 15,000 homes

A dog named Kingston is back with his family 101 days after he jumped out of their truck as they fled a devastating Northern California wildfire.

The 12-year-old Akita was reunited Monday with the Ballejos family, who fled the town of Paradise late last year, Sacramento television station KXTV reported .

READ MORE: Northern California fire officials begin agonizing search for dead

“When I found out, (it) just about brought me to tears,” said Gabriel Ballejos, Kingston’s owner. “I’m so proud of him. I can’t believe it. He’s a true survivor, and it’s a testament to the American spirit.”

Ballejos said they never lost hope and kept posting flyers and contacting shelters.

The family got a call after animal rescue volunteer Ben Lepe trapped Kingston on Sunday and took him to Friends of Camp Fire Cats, a local rescue group. The volunteers saw a missing dog message there and contacted the family.

Lepe said the dog had been spotted on surveillance cameras and that he set up a trap big enough for the Kingston on Saturday. He weighs at least 75 pounds.

“When I went to check it on Sunday, there he was,” Lepe said. “It was awesome to see him and know he would be fed and warm.”

Family members believe Kingston survived by eating skunks, because he hunted them before the fire and smelled of skunk when they picked him up.

The town of Paradise was levelled by a Nov. 8 blaze that killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 15,000 homes in the area.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

‘Howard’, the iconic Nanoose Bay attraction, will be moved as soon as possible

Man ticketed by Oceanside RCMP after trailer flips on Highway 19

Incident caused delays to southbound traffic

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read