A lost hunting dog used her instincts to make her way back to safety after spending several days without food or water in the bitter South Dakota cold.

The yellow Labrador was discovered January 4 when she retrieved a downed bird and returned it to a nearby hunter. The stunned hunter contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, who ultimately took the dog to Aberdeen Area Humane Society for care.

Elain Shaible, the shelter manager, said the dog, who was named River by the staff, was in rough condition when she was brought in.

DOG SHOOTS HUNTER AFTER ANOTHER HUNTER LEAVES SHOTGUN ON GROUND

“She had wounds on her joints and feet, which we found out were granulomas,” Schaible said to Dakota Media Group.

Granulomas in dogs are typically caused by excessively licking sores. At first they were thought to be frostbite because of the record subzero temperatures South Dakota had been experiencing. However, a veterinarian told Human Society staff that wasn’t the case.

Shaible said River was placed in a warm, dry kennel where she slept for the next 48 hours.

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/great-outdoors/2018/01/16/lost-hunting-dog-saved-by-surprised-hunter.html