ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ)—Before finding his way to a shelter, Pilgrim, the puppy, was on his own for a month traveling through many counties.
Pilgrim got his nickname from his 200-mile journey through towns searching for his owner. It’s unclear where he started his journey, but posts on social media show he’s traveled as far as Mercersburg in Fulton County and working his way up towards Mount Union in Huntingdon County.
These sightings of Pilgrim dated as far as March 11. Kelly Gunsallus, the founder of WAW Pet Recovery, has been working her way to find and rescue him.
“The first post we saw on March 11, along Route 22 in Mount Union by the Dairy Queen,” Gunsallus said. “That’s March 11th.”
Eventually, Pilgrim walked to Duncansville, where Gunsallus was ready to rescue. She initially set a trap on Friday, April 7 but was unsuccessful.
But Gunsallus was determined to rescue Pilgrim from the dangers from the outside. That’s when she tried her luck again that following Sunday and was able to get him.
“He kept walking until he got to Duncansville on Sunday, and that’s where I got lots of sightings,” Gunsallus said. “I was able to put a trap out in a yard, and sure enough, he was found it 6:30 on Sunday.”
Gunsallus called it a sigh of relief when Pilgrim was placed in the trapped. She knew then that the puppy was safer in caring arms.
“When I saw him in the trap, I was overjoyed,” Gunsallus said. “He’s finally safe and off the roads, and he will be loved.”
After rescuing him, Gunsallus immediately brought him to the Central PA Humane Society. After hearing his story, they were in disbelief at his journey and made it out alive.
The staff is still unsure what breed Pilgrim is, but they believe he’s involved with the hound family. They also think he’s around a year old, making him still a puppy.
Gunsallus said that the safe rescue of Pilgrim wouldn’t have been possible without the community’s help. But she’s looking forward to seeing him warm up to the staff and emerge into the sweet dog.
“I want him to open up and be a sweet loving, happy, want to be with people dog,” Gunsallus said.
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Pilgrim is being held at the Central PA Humane Society, and he’s not up for adoption. The staff is still trying to search for his legal owners.