Shaggy

Shaggy before his capture; photo by Steve Zaagman/WZZM News

A large brown dog that had eluded capture in Michigan for seven months, winning the hearts of thousands, has finally been caught.

The abandoned Newfoundland, nicknamed Shaggy, had roamed Grand Rapids neighborhoods visibly, often in close proximity to people walking their pet dogs, but would not allow himself to be captured despite attempts with net guns and tranquilizers.

Shaggyincage

A subdued Shaggy filling a cage and en route to a rehab facility; photo by Ella Stubbert

However, Shaggy recently began to hang out in front of a nearby suburban home owned by Jim and Kim Stubbert, who have two dogs that Shaggy took a liking to.

The Stubberts spent weeks gaining Shaggy’s trust and on Thursday Kim Stubbert, luring Shaggy close with a bowl of dog food and smoked salmon, placed a leash around his collar.

Shaggythedog1

Shaggy was also called Bear Dog and Bigfoot; photo by Steve Zaagman/WZZM News

Ella Stubbert, one of the Stubbert’s daughters, broke the news on the Help Shaggy Facebook page on Thursday, posting a photo of Shaggy in a cage, wrapped in a purple blanket, with the caption: "Shaggy is bundled up and heading to start his new life! Finally the collar is off and he no longer has to spend another night in the cold."

According to WZZM News, which has followed the story for the past several weeks, Shaggy was being delivered to The Devoted Barn, a facility that treats feral dogs and prepares them for adoption, in Newport, Michigan.

Melissa Borden, owner of The Devoted Barn, took the leash after Shaggy had been collared, and told Michigan Live that Shaggy offered only brief resistance.

"It went exactly how I planned it," Borden said. "He freaked out for about a minute and then gave up and laid down, and I was able to get ahold of him."

The rehabilitation process might take a year or more, Borden said in an earlier interview, because Shaggy, essentially, is a wild animal.

But it's hoped he'll one day end up in a proper home-perhaps even the home owned by the Stubberts.

Because of Shaggy’s thick coat, he was also nicknamed Bigfoot and Bear Dog, according to WZZM News reporter Steve Zaagman.

-Follow Pete Thomas on Facebook and Twitter