NewsMontana and Regional News


Rescue volunteer finds dog missing for 19 days near Townsend

Hercules has been found
19 Day Dog
Shep's Gulch in Broadwater County
Posted at 5:41 PM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 22:11:56-04

HELENA — You may have come across social media posts and you may have seen KRTV's report about Great Falls groups searching for Hercules, a dog missing near Townsend. Good news - Hercules has been found.

19 Day Dog

Hercules was found after spending 19 days alone in the area of Shep’s Gulch, and was found on April 30th.

“I'm just talking to myself and I stepped in this muddy stream. It sank up to my ankles,” says Theresa Froehlich, who found Hercules. “So I'm like 'Oh my gosh!' and all of a sudden I heard Hercules growl and so I looked across and there he was. I took a picture of the first time I saw him."

This rescue did not happen by accident. Froehlich was involved from the beginning when she first heard of Hercules. This dog went through the local pitbull rescue where Froehlich volunteers and it was her that found Hercules’ adopter. She posted messages all across social media and gained help from animal groups in Great Falls to conduct a rescue search about a week after Hercules was reported missing. That attempt came up empty.

"They thought somebody picked him up. I knew that couldn't be right,” says Froehlich. “He has a collar and tag. Almost everybody is honest when they find a dog, they will call the [number on the tag] and reunite the dog with his family. That didn't happen. It was just my gut instinct he was still up there."

 19 Day Dog

That gut instinct was correct. Froehlich received a message with coordinates from a local hunter stating he noticed the dog. Exactly 24 hours after that message, Froehlich found Hercules.

“I was ready to go back up there again on Saturday, if I wasn't successful on Friday. I just wasn't going to let him die on that mountain. I just knew he was up there and I was gonna do everything in my power to find him," says Froehlich.

Hercules did lose weight and was sleep deprived. Froehlich believes he was able to survive for so long because of nearby water sources. Hercules is in stable condition and now has a family home in Butte.

Froehlich is a long-time dog advocate and volunteer of a Montana pit bull rescue. And this isn’t her first time rescuing animals - she said she has been involved in two other search rescues for animals that lasted 10 days or more.