Dogs found safe 10 days after they bolted during volcano evacuation

Brus is carried out of the underbrush by a rescuer. Brus is held by a volunteer after his ordeal. Brus and buddy Little Dude spent days trapped between a lava flow and a fence line. (Photo: Aloha Ilio Rescue)

As eruptions from the Kilauea volcano threatened Hawaii’s Big Island, Carol Hosley knew it was time to evacuate. But when firefighters arrived to help her evacuate her home in Puna, her dog Brus took off in a panic. The recently adopted Jack Russell-pug mix was terrified of men. To make matters worse, his pal, a terrier mix named Little Dude, bolted with him.

Volunteers from Aloha Ilio Rescue, where Hosley adopted Brus six months ago, immediately went to work looking for the pups. Female members of the group searched for them (to ease the dog's anxiety) and left out food and crates, hoping to lure them to safety and away from the volcano dangers.

Finally, after 10 days, they found the dogs trapped between a cooled lava flow and a fence line.

"They were stuck behind a fence, and they couldn't get out because the lava had surrounded them," Daylynn Kyles, president of Aloha Ilio Dog Rescue, told Hawaii Now. "It was crazy."

A rescuer worker carries Little Dude to safety. A rescuer carries Little Dude out of the underbrush. (Photo: Aloha Ilio Rescue)

Kyles and other volunteers had to crawl through grass and over the fence to reach the dogs who were very afraid and had been bitten by red ants. The pups were briefly reunited with their thrilled owner, but they are staying at the rescue until Hosley can find a more permanent place to stay.

"I'm just thrilled to death, I just couldn't be happier," Hosley said. "The other stuff is stuff, but I got the dogs."

Brus gets a bath after his scary adventure.Brus gets a bath after his scary adventure. (Photo: Aloha Ilio Rescue)

During the rescue, the volunteers discovered they were very close to the site of the volcano's 17th fissure.

"It sounded like a freight train," Kyles said of the nearby eruption. "You just heard these constant, big booms."

Fans followed the saga on Facebook and cheered when the pups were finally found, thanking the small nonprofit — which, by the way, relies totally on donations — for working so hard to make sure the wayward dogs were found.

"It was extremely rewarding just to see them safe," posted rescuer Tanya Moore. "It was teamwork at its finest."

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.

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