*Update 12/21* Bear has been caught and is thriving in his new home just in time for the holidays!
The Glass family posted on Facebook that Bear was checked out by Dr. Graef and has been given a clean bill of health by Dr. Graef while Fuzzy Groomers got Bear all cleaned up.
For more than five years, a stray dog has been making his home in a Hutto community. But Bear isn't like most stray dogs.
Too smart for traps and too quick for animal control, he's become a well known member of the neighborhood for avoiding capture and survival skills. But thanks to one Irma Mendoza and her son's dedication, Bear could soon have a new place to call home.
"It all started a couple of years ago when my mom found Bear by the block where we live." Alfonso Salinas, Irma's son, said, "But she found him and after that she just started to feed him and try to take care of him."
Irma Mendoza and Alfonso have been taking care of Bear for more than five years. The catch? Bear isn't their dog, in fact he isn't anyone's dog. Every day Irma comes to a field to give Bear food. She also gives him his annual medications and brought him a doghouse to sleep in. Over the years, others have also pitched in to make sure Bear is taken care of.
"This dog is pretty much a family member," Salinas said.
Bear has been seen roaming the Hutto neighborhood alone since 2010. Many believe Bear's owners left him behind when they moved. He eventually settled into a nearby field and became part of the neighborhood.
"He is a survivor that's for sure. He's smart, he stays out of the way, stays out of the street, avoids people, and everybody has grown fond of him." Richard Rodriguez, who lives in the neighborhood, said, "He's got his own Facebook page so that speaks something to how people like him."
Bear has also managed to avoid Hutto Animal Control officer Wayne Cunningham and many others who've tried to take him in.
"No one can get close to him but Irma so we haven't been able to catch him. He's gotten wise to our dog traps, he recognizes the animal control truck so he's very leery about new people," Cunningham said.
But construction of new homes threatens Bear's current home. So Mendoza and Cunningham are working together to help find Bear a permanent place to stay and Niroshini Glass, who became familiar of Bear because of her job, has opened her door after spending years helping Irma .
"If he has been through all of this and he is still going strong. He is not skin and bones, thanks to Irma, I mean he deserves to be in a loving home and being able to adapt to people," Glass said.
Which means Irma's daily trips to the field won't be necessary but her years of hard work appear to have paid off.
"It's really great that the dog is finally going to have a home," Salinas said.
A home where love will not be hard to find.
"He would be so spoiled. He would get anything and everything he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted it. He would be very, very spoiled," Glass said.
Cunningham said the process to eventually capture Bear will take some time. Once caught Bear will be taken to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter to be evaluated.
Visit Bear's Facebook page here.