Missing Iditarod dog rescued Leon has been found and is on his way home!

Leon is now safely with his owner, Sebastien Dos Santos Borges of France, after being missing for 3 months. Photo courtesy of the ITC

by Iditarod Staff

June 4, 2022 4:35 pm

After nearly 3 months and almost 150 miles covered since his escape from the Ruby checkpoint, the Iditarod Trail Committee is elated to announce that Leon has been found and is safely in the custody of his owner, Sebastien Dos Santos Borges.

On May 31, 2022, Race Director/Marshall, Mark Nordman was notified by locals in McGrath that Leon had been frequenting the area of a community member’s homestead. The resident of the homestead/cabin and another dog musher who lives in McGrath had been leaving food out for Leon in hopes to help contain him. The Iditarod Trail Committee emailed Dos Santos Borges to give updates and coordinate transportation to McGrath once Dos Santos Borges arrived in Anchorage today, the morning of June 4, 2022.

In the early hours this morning, Saturday, June 4, a local community member in McGrath was able to catch Leon and transport him by boat back to his home. The Iditarod Trail Committee has coordinated with Regal Air and local community members to get Sebastien to McGrath to be united with Leon and transport them both safely back to Anchorage where Sebastien will then fly Leon back home with him to France.

The Iditarod cannot express enough gratitude for all of Iditarod Nation’s help, prayers, thoughts and well wishes for Leon. From the volunteers to the search fund organizers and the individual donors, community members along the trail and the heroes of McGrath who have helped towards the cause of finding Leon. Alaska is an incredibly special place as is the spirit of the community, which is part of what makes The Last Great Race so special. Thank you, Iditarod Nation, and welcome home, Leon!