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Dog survives plane crash in Broomfield

Chata, a 7-year-old pit bull, has a gash behind her ear and sore muscles, but is doing well.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Two private pilots died in a plane crash shortly after taking off from Erie Municipal Airport on Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board will release a preliminary report on what happened next week.

There was one survivor of the plane crash: a dog named Chata. How that happened is a mystery. Now, the 7-year-old pit bull is being called a living miracle.

RELATED: Witness described strange sounds moments before Broomfield plane crash

Credit: Lydia McIntyre

"Someone found Chata wandering around the neighborhood adjacent to the plane crash and brought her to a shelter where they kind of held onto her until they could contact owners and then the owners brought her here," said Dr. Ashley MacDonald, staff veterinarian at Arrowhead Animal Hospital. “The good Samaritan who brought her into the shelter wasn’t even from around here, was on vacation from out of town and just saw her wandering. So it was all of the good events lining up for Chata to get here.”

Broomfield police said the pup was onboard the plane and had already been taken by that good Samaritan before first responders arrived at the scene.

Credit: Lydia McIntyre

"It's my understanding that there were two victims in the plane crash but she belonged to one of them," MacDonald said. "I know that Chata's family loves her so much and her dad passed doing something that he loved doing with her. She even had little earmuffs in the plane when they would go up together, which is likely how she got that laceration."

MacDonald cared for Chata when she arrived at the animal hospital. 

“I think for me this case was more about supporting the people while making sure that Chata was OK, because they were also in shock and it just broke my heart what they were going through," she said. "So I wanted to make sure we got Chata settled as soon as possible.”

MacDonald said Chata is doing fine, besides some sore muscles and a gash behind her ear that's already been patched up. 

Credit: Lydia McIntyre

"She did great in the hospital, was so sweet," she said. "I was expecting a more critical, mangled patient, but she was wagging her tail the whole time."

Monday evening, Chata was released from the hospital. But still, no one understands how she managed to escape the wreckage with such minor injuries.

"It just was so incredible to hear that she was kind of like the lone survivor and maybe it's because she wasn't secured and she kind of got away from the crash," MacDonald said. "I can't say, but animals are incredible and they do crazy things, unexplainable things."

Credit: Lydia McIntyre

MacDonald said she's glad to have been able to help Chata's family in a small way. 

"Chata's a happy-go-lucky gal and we're so happy to have helped her," she said. "It's great that the family has a piece of him kind of remaining with her and she's in great hands, so I think that'll help their healing process."

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