Calif. deputies rescue Italian mastiffs that wandered Angeles National Forest for weeks

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department worked with an animal rescue organization to build a pen and rescue the dogs

By Amanda Lien

LOS ANGELES — Three Italian mastiffs who wandered Angeles National Forest for weeks have been rescued about two months after hikers first reported spotting them.

KTLA reports there had been several sightings of the mastiffs in early March but deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Montrose Search and Rescue couldn’t get close enough to catch them. Capturing the dogs also proved difficult for Simi Valley’s Dog Days Search & Rescue, the LASD said.

In late March, the Simi Valley group custom-built a pen using panels and a soccer net and supplied it with food and water in the hopes of capturing the dogs. It wasn’t until almost a month later that the three dogs went into the pen.

The dogs have since been taken to Montrose Search and Rescue, where they will receive medical treatment before possibly being adopted, KTLA reports. It is unclear where the dogs came from, but officials suspect they had been abandoned.


A “Mastiff (Massive) Rescue Operation” In early March of this year, there had been several reports from hikers and others who had seen three large dogs wondering on Angeles Crest Highway, near mile marker 46, in the Angeles National Forest. #LASD Deputies from Crescenta Valley Station and the Montrose Search and Rescue Team had seen the dogs from afar, on multiple occasions but were never able to get close enough to capture the dogs. The three Italian #Mastiffs continued to wonder the hillsides of Mount Mooney for several weeks, during the cold snow storms, rainy days and recently scorching heat temperatures. On March 27th, 2020, a team from the Dog Days Search & Rescue team from Simi Valley went to the location and began their efforts to safely capture the three Mastiffs. It appeared the abandoned dogs would not allow anyone near them, the task of capturing them was difficult. The team spent weeks supplying food, water, and shelter for the dogs. During several weeks time, the Dog Days SAR team endured heat, cold, rain, and even snow. They studied the dog’s behavior and gave them nick names of “Steve, George, and Grace”. The team was able to construct a large pen with food, in hopes of capturing dogs. Members of the LASD - Montrose Search and Rescue Team continually checked in on the animal rescue team and donated food and water. Everyone involved wanted to see “Steve, George, and Grace” safely captured and adopted out to a loving family. On April 27th, 2020 exactly one month later, the Dog Days Search and Rescue team had the break they needed when all three Mastiffs went into the pen. The team members were able to close the door and secure all three dogs. With the dogs safe and sound, the Dog Days SAR asked LASD Montrose Search and Rescue for help in transporting the Steve, George, and Grace down the steep hillside to the roadway. Team Montrose SAR responded and used their mountaineering skills to build a custom lowering system. This system used ropes and other equipment to carefully lower the dogs, who were now loaded in cages, down a steep hillside. Montrose Search and Rescue spent nearly two hours helping Steve, George, and Grace to the safety of flat ground. Once on the roadway, arrangements were made to take them to the rescue. The Montrose Search and Rescue team members learned the dogs would receive any needed medical treatment, and hopefully be available for adoption in the near future! Dog Days Search & Rescue is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit organization, volunteer based, animal search and rescue group. If you have any questions about Stevie, George and Grace, please visit their website at If you witness any animal abuse or abandonment of any animal in the Angeles National Forest, please contact Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station at 818-248-3464 or the Pasadena Humane Society at 626-792-7151.

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, April 28, 2020


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