EDMONTON -- A young dog is getting a second chance at love after being rescued by the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society. Volunteers call her Elusa, a fitting name, because it took volunteers about a month to capture her.

SCARS first got a call about Elusa in mid-April. She was spotted in a ditch on the side of a backroad outside Grassland.

“This was quite a distance away from houses and no one had recognized her, she didn’t belong to anyone in the area so people were actively trying to catch her,” said Terra MacLean of SCARS.

“She’d run really far, you couldn’t get anywhere near her.”

Volunteers brought out a live trap to try to catch her.

“She wouldn’t even stick her head in,” MacLean said.

“We had wild meat, we had raw meat, we had kibble, sardines, we had hot dogs. We tried everything.”

The same volunteer went to the trap three times a day to try and lure the dog.

“Morning, noon and night to feed and water her and make sure she was OK, and she never warmed up to the lady at all.”

The chase went on for weeks with SCARS volunteers and members of the public.

“The public, they tried chasing her down on a Ski-doo, on several Ski-doos and she out ran them and went and hid in the bush. They tried on horseback. No one could get near this dog.”

As a last resort, they turned to a sedative, administered in meat by a veterinarian.

“It’s really dangerous because if you don’t know the exact weight of the animal you can do one of two things. Too much can obviously harm her or even kill her and not enough can make her really drowsy but not drowsy enough to catch her so she could end up going and laying down in the trees and then not hearing a coyote come up or running out in front of a vehicle because she’s drowsy and not 100 per cent, but still fast enough we can’t catch her.”

The first attempt to sedate Elusa failed.

“We ended up having to sedate her a second and third time. Of course we’re on the phone with the vet making sure we’re OK in our allowances and our weight guess, and she finally got drowsy enough that we came up to her, there was six of us and we kind of corralled her more or less, into a pen.”

Despite her elusiveness, MacLean said Elusa had no trouble warming up to people once she had been caught.

“She’s been this sweetheart ever since. From the minute she was caught she’s actually been friendly. She loves attention, she loves pets.”

“To this day I cannot figure out why she was so scared and so fearful for so long when she’s actually a real affectionate, sweet dog.”

The volunteers don’t know anything about Elusa’s history, but MacLean thinks someone might have dumped her where she was found.

“When people dump a dog often times a loyal dog will stay the last place it saw its owner. So they’ll just sit wherever they saw the, the last place they saw their person,” she said.

Despite her ordeal, Elusa is healthy. She loves people, other dogs and even cats. A vet exam puts her age at about 10 months to a year.

SCARS has received over 50 applications to adopt her. It has narrowed it down to three families, and Elusa will meet her potential families this weekend.  

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson