A dog that lived on its own in the woods for about six-and-a-half years is now being cared for at an animal rescue and eventually will be adopted into a loving home.
The dog named Rose was first reported by a person living near the village of Crawley Down in West Sussex, England, in late November, the Lost Dog Recovery UK South wrote in a Dec. 11 Facebook post.
The person who spotted Rose "stopped the traffic, let the dog disappear into the woodland and knew not to follow, and just returned ASAP to leave food," said Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
Lost Dog Recovery UK South is a nonprofit group funded by donations and run by volunteers, it told Fox News Digital.
The concerned citizen was told by someone living in Crawley Down that people in the area were aware of the dog and that she was frequently reported as being found.
"She was said to stray and be fed by people," said Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
The individual — whom Lost Dog Recovery UK South said was "slightly perplexed but still very concerned" at the notion of a dog living in the woods — reached out to the organization with the discovery of the animal.
"Realizing it could just have been an ‘owned dog allowed to roam’ situation, a camera was taken over and food left anyway until more information could be gathered," wrote Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
"The little dog was on camera at 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. that first night, three times the next night, and by the third day already appeared to be ‘waiting’ for dinnertime, watching us park and walk up to the camera site," said Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
The group eventually learned that Rose was fed by local residents, who thought that "she should be left alone," as she was in "good condition."
They also found out that locals believed she had been a stray for "about 10 years," something that deeply upset Lost Dog Recovery UK South. (This estimate was later found to be an exaggeration.)
"Further discussions with another household said to be responsible for her care painted a slightly different picture — they did leave food out for wildlife, but they knew that the welfare of this (suspected) senior dog was a priority and agreed to help us in any way they could," the organization wrote. "Wildlife feeding was paused."
Over the next week, Lost Dog Recovery UK South worked on establishing a "feeding routine" with Rose, and it confirmed that she was a senior dog.
The group finally trapped her and brought her in on Dec. 9, the organization said.
"Understandably she was shocked and scared but very gentle, and was taken immediately to the warmth and safety of kennels," wrote Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
Lost Dog Recovery UK South said it was shocked to learn that Rose not only had a microchip, but she had a name — Rose — and that she'd gone missing within 24 hours of her adoption back in March 2017.
"We absolutely didn't expect to discover that she was a long-term lost dog called Rose … a now-12-year-old Patterdale Terrier," the group wrote.
Rose went missing prior to the creation of Lost Dog Recovery UK South, it said. Yet "piecing together snippets we can find, she was sighted loose in the 10 days after she first went missing, but then the trail went cold."
"Although we will never know when exactly she came to settle in Crawley Down, what we do know is that she is finally SAFE, and now will not spend the rest of her senior years fending for herself in the cold and wet," the group said.
Unfortunately, Rose's original owners are unable to take her back into their home.
The owners were located, but "their circumstances have dramatically changed" since 2017, said the organization.
"They are thrilled she is safe and unhurt and, of course, sad they aren’t able to take her back," wrote Lost Dog Recovery UK South.
"She will be going to a rescue who can give her what she needs and care for her in her old age."