On Sunday, two pilots and a dog took off from Erie Municipal Airport in Colorado.
For reasons that are still being investigated and have not yet been made public, the plane went down in Broomfield, Colorado, shortly after taking off.
Somehow, however, the dog, a 7-year-old pit bull named Chata, survived.
Chata has a gash behind her ear and sore muscles, but is doing well. https://t.co/8oRuSsKESp
— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) May 25, 2022
A short while after the crash, a good Samaritan found the gray-and-white dog with a gash behind her ear wandering around the neighborhood. The person took her to a local shelter, which contacted the owners.
That’s when the dog’s incredible story came together: Her owner confirmed that she had been on the plane and that she was the sole survivor.
“Someone found Chata wandering around the neighborhood adjacent to the plane crash and brought her to a shelter where they kind of held onto her until they could contact owners and then the owners brought her here,” Ashley MacDonald, a veterinarian at Arrowhead Animal Hospital in Westminster, told KUSA-TV.
“The good Samaritan who brought her into the shelter wasn’t even from around here, was on vacation from out of town and just saw her wandering. So it was all of the good events lining up for Chata to get here,” she said.
The incident was a first for MacDonald, who expected Chata to show up in much worse shape, given the situation.
“I’ve never dealt with a plane crash victim,” she said, according to KDVR.
“It’s my understanding that there were two victims in the plane crash but she belonged to one of them,” MacDonald continued.
“I know that Chata’s family loves her so much and her dad, you know, passed doing something that he loved doing with her. I know that she even had little earmuffs in the plane when they would go up together, which is likely how she got that laceration.”
Chata was a star patient, friendly and sweet, wagging her tail “the whole time,” and she was able to go back to her family the following day.
“I think for me this case was more about supporting the people while making sure that Chata was OK, because they were also in shock and it just broke my heart what they were going through,” MacDonald said. “So I wanted to make sure we got Chata settled as soon as possible.”
While the family is going through a time of grief, they have a connection to their late loved one through the pup he so loved.
“It’s a miracle,” MacDonald said. “Animals can do incredible things.”