Ribero a two-year-old dog, lived on the streets of Guaro after his elderly owner died of natural causes two months ago.
For several weeks he wandered around his old home, where a young man took him food. With the help of volunteers, he was rescued and taken to an animal protection shelter in the La Virreina area of Malaga city.
But his stay was short-lived. He was taken in on 5 February but just two days later Ribero had escaped after jumping a two-metre-high fence.
What no one could imagine is that Ribero would appear back at his old home eleven days later on 18 February.
He had travelled around 50 kilometres, crossing busy motorways and roads, until he reached the same place where he was first found.
"In the villages there are many animals that are used to entering and leaving the houses freely, but when the owner died, our first intention was to rescue him and find him a home," explained Carmen Manzano, president of the animal association.
Given the circumstances, however, the charity has changed its strategy with Ribero. "Since he is safe there, the youth who was taking care of him will continue to do so, so that he will gain confidence, because it is clear that he won't get used to the shelter."
Looking for a new home
Manzano is now appealing for a family that has a fenced farm or large house to take care of him. A home with other dogs, a pack which Ribero could join. "He is an animal that needs to be outdoors; it would be ideal."
The charity’s president draws attention to the "loyalty and affection" shown by the pets of people who have died during the coronavirus crisis. Manzano points out that since the beginning of the pandemic many dogs and cats have been taken to the shelter after being 'orphaned' following the death of their owners, often people who lived alone.
This is not an isolated case of a dog being picked up by the charity after going in search of its home. Previously, there was another case of a dog that lived with an elderly lady in Campanillas. When she died, he was given up for adoption to another family in the city, but he too ran away and appeared back at his first home.