Mandan woman's lost dog found living in Bismarck landfill for over a year

MANDAN, N.D. - A Mandan woman received a phone call Thursday that she says she'll never forget.

It was about her dog Hanna, who has been missing for more than a year. She'd been found in a rather unusual place.

Hanna's owner says it's a Christmas miracle that she's been located at the Bismarck landfill, but now the family's next challenge is getting their pooch home after living in the wild.

Hanna's family has spent almost every hour since they learned of her location calling out her name and have no plans of stopping.

"I want to sleep here too but they won't let me," says Michelle Tait, Hanna's owner.

Tait received the call Thursday about her missing Australian Shepherd-Lab mix from an operator at the Bismarck landfill. This wasn't the first time he spotted her.

"She does very well out here and looks very healthy, but I'm sure she would much rather be at home," says Wako Schriock, Bismarck Landfill Operator.

Schriock says Hanna's lived at the landfill for about a year. He says after failed attempts to catch her, he thought posting pictures of her online may bring her home. And he was right.

"I am so thankful for Wako, but, yeah, we've had lots of responses and people saying they would come out here and help us," says Cindy Johnson, Michelle's mother.

The family has set food out for Hanna and say Animal Control will be setting up a live cage to help catch her. Besides learning to never give up hope, her owner says it's taught her about the support system in every community.

"There's almost 300 comments on the Facebook page with people just saying 'thank you, with all the negativity this was such a positive story and it made my day,'" says Tait.

Even though Hanna has lived in extreme conditions for more than a year, with temperatures starting to dip below zero early next week, the sense of urgency increases for Hanna's family.

Tait says she rescued Hanna when she was about a year old and took her everywhere she went.