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Dog walked miles to Washington landslide where former owner is missing

  • hospitalNurse.jpg

    Dr. Krystal Grant, the veterinarian at Arlington Veterinary Hospital, seen with Boomer. She said he's an older dog and would not have survived without rescuers finding him in the mudslide rubble. (Arlington Veterinary Hospital)

  • Boomber2.jpg

    Boomer, 15, seen arriving at the at Arlington Veterinary Hospital after being found in the mudslide debris. (Arlington Veterinary Hospital)

  • dog2.jpg

    Rescue workers cheered when they found Boomer in the Washington mudslide debris because he was considered a source of hope. (Arlington Veterinary Hospital)

An injured golden retriever found Wednesday at the scene of Washington's deadly landslide appears to have walked for miles to get to the location where his onetime owner was last seen, authorities said.

Boomer, 15, was found dehydrated with injuries to his leg and hip, Dr. Krystal Grant, the veterinarian at Arlington Veterinary Hospital, told FoxNews.com. Grant said it appeared the dog, who is not a victim of the landslide, walked three miles from his current home to get to the debris.

"He might not have been saved from the landslide, but, if not for the hard work of these rescuers, he certainly would have not survived," she said. 

Rescuers cheered when they found the dog because they initially believed he was a victim in the deadly March 22 landslide. But after Boomer’s picture was posted on Facebook, his new owner contacted the rescuers and told them he must have wandered off.

Grant, who lives near the disaster area, said the dog’s find was an inspiration and a much-needed moral boost to rescuers as the number of confirmed dead increased to 30 with 15 more people unaccounted for. The status of the dog’s old owner is unclear, but he was last reported missing.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Thursday that 67-year-old Gloria Halstead and 13-year-old Jovon E. Mangual, both of Arlington, died of multiple blunt force injuries in the accident.

The medical examiner's office has released 27 names and is still trying to identify three victims.

Recovery crews are still searching for more bodies in the March 22 landslide that crushed the community of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.

About an inch of rain is forecast this weekend at the Oso mudslide where a few dry days this week have helped searchers looking for bodies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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