Watch: Dog lost in Arizona lived alone for 15 months

May 16 (UPI) — An Arizona animal rescue group says a dog presumed dead after going missing from its new home has been living free for 15 months.

Gilbert-based Friends for Life Animal Rescue said the little pup named Lilibeth was fostered by Carly Fife in 2021 before being adopted by a family.

The rescue said Lilibeth only stayed with the family for one day before breaking away.

“I immediately went looking for her, because I had just bonded with her,” Fife told KSAZ-TV. “We searched for several days that week, put up signs and walked the alleys. And at some point I thought she couldn’t be found, she couldn’t survive there.”

The family that adopted Lilibeth eventually lost hope and adopted another dog.

Humane Animal Rescue and Trapping, a local non-profit organization, was contacted recently about a loose dog about three blocks from where Lilibeth went missing. Neighbors said the elusive dog had been wandering the area for about a year.

“She looked upset, and they managed to trap her and search her microchip back to us, and not only was she able to find her way back to us, but back to her original foster family who been kind enough to welcome him back,” Barb Savoy told Friends for Life.

The rescue group said Lilibeth was still wearing the same necklace she wore when she disappeared.

“Lilibeth probably survived on cat food and water left for the cats, so we’re very lucky that she was able to survive 15 months on her own,” Savoy said.

Fife said Lilibeth is adjusting well after returning home.

“I think she remembered our house and the smells and everything, so she adapted pretty quickly,” Fife said. “Probably the next day she was jumping down the stairs onto the couch wagging her tail.”

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