CHICAGO (CBS) — A German Shepherd who was missing for almost a year and a half has been found and reunited with his family, by a local group that was searching for another lost dog.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports a group of animal lovers calling themselves the “North Shore Posse” have spent more than a year trying to find Holly, a rescued German Shepherd who disappeared from Wilmette.

“We got together because there’s a dog named Holly that has no advocate,” Posse member Maria Therese said.

Holly disappeared from Wilmette in July 2013.

Therese said someone recently saw a flyer about Holly near the Edgebrook Golf Course on the Far North Side of Chicago, and called them, saying it looked like a dog that had been living in the woods there.

“They thought the dog could have been a coydog [the offspring of a coyote and a dog]. It was a very big dog,” she said.

The group set up a camera, and captured images of the dog. It wasn’t Holly, but it was distinctive-looking.

“The dog had a white stripe going down the head, which is very unusual,” she said.

The posse found the dog’s owner through the Lost Dogs Illinois website. The owner came and rescued the dog, named Hoss, who had been on his own for more than 500 days.

“That dog lived through the polar vortex. I mean, he was stinky. Everybody said he was bad,” Therese said.

“How could a dog be out a year and a half?” she added. “The point is, it can; and don’t write off your dog. If it was your kid, would you stop? Absolutely not.”

Hoss was found nearly five miles from where he disappeared. He’s now back home with his owner.