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Heads up! Cute pup on the run

RADIUM SPRINGS — Hundreds of people in Doña Ana County responded to reports of a stray dog roaming around with a container stuck on its head last weekend. The search ended with a released and relieved dog nicknamed Pretzel.

A Dona Ana County Animal Control officer works to remove the plastic container stuck on Pretzel’s head on Saturday. (Courtesy of Las Cruces Sun-News)

Pretzel is a yellow Lab mix first spotted near the U.S. Post Office in Radium Springs on Thursday, March 4, by passersby and was later seen near the Rio Grande. Doña Ana County Animal Control attempted to catch the stray but were unsuccessful. Cherished K-9 All Breed Rescue was called in to help, and Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue offered to assist with the rescue as well.

Responders and community members spent the next few days searching for the lab, following his tracks, deploying utility terrain vehicles and drones and setting a trap in efforts to locate and bring him in.

Pretzel, a yellow Lab mix, hangs out with Carla Baker of Cherished K-9 All Breed Rescue on Monday at Apodaca Park. Pretzel got his head stuck in a plastic container and had to be rescued last weekend. (Leah Romero/Las Cruces Sun-News)

It wasn’t until early Saturday afternoon that Pretzel was caught, and responders were able to remove the container from his head. At first, people who had spotted him thought the container was a plastic pretzel container — hence the name. But Carla Baker, executive director of Cherished K-9, said the container turned out to be a continuous-flow dog feeder.

“He only had a little opening in the top, so he really would have been in dire need,” Baker said. “He was exhausted, dehydrated and very hungry.”

However, the name stuck. Baker said it fits because Pretzel found himself in a “pretzel.” He was taken in by the nonprofit rescue organization and is currently living with a foster family. Baker said he has mostly been interested in eating and sleeping, recuperating after his ordeal.

Baker is unsure how long Pretzel was in the desert or where he came from, but he did not have any tags or a microchip. Any possible owners have not stepped forward.

The organization’s original Facebook post was shared over 1,400 times and members of the community helped the search by commenting when and where they saw Pretzel.

Pretzel took a trip to the vet Sunday and has been microchipped and vaccinated. He is about a year-and-a-half old, in good health and will be neutered. He will be available for adoption around March 17 — after he has had time to heal from being neutered.

Baker said there have already been inquiries about adopting the gentle, friendly boy.