A small dog who miraculously survived four days stranded on the ice along Detroit River and being hunted by a coyote is now in safe hands. His rescue involved persistent and concerned citizens from the United States and Canada combined with a lot of luck.
The tiny dog was first spotted on the open ice by wildlife photographers in Ecorse Michigan, CTV reported who spotted the dog on an ice floe.
The dog’s precarious plight came to the attention of Patricia Trevino, director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter in Michigan, who immediately put out calls for help. She contacted local fire departments and the coast guard, but they declined due to the danger involved. But she refused to give up.
“That’s a little life out there, we had to fight for him,” Trevino said, after the dog’s rescue. “We had to fight for him.”
While Trevino desperately sought help, the dog had another danger to deal with on top of the cold temperatures and icy waters – a coyote! The wild animal attempted to snatch the dog, but the dog somehow managed to evade him by moving further out onto the ice and then disappearing from sight.
Photographer Tim Epperly witnessed the dog’s struggle to survive. Kimberley Craig with WXYZ-TV reported that Epperly kept tabs on the dog for Trevino and saw the coyote. Throughout the four days the dog would disappear from view only to be spotted later.
The dog was on a small island in the middle of the river when father and son Jude Mead and Jude Mead Jr., co-owners of J&J Marine Ltd, decided to search for him. The men, who live in LaSalle, Ontario, just south of Windsor, said they took out their airboat to look for the dog after hearing about him.
“We just went out in that area and looked around,” Mead told CNN. “Really, it didn’t take long to find him.” They picked the dog up and delivered him to a grateful Trevino.
Trevino got the dog into her car and whisked him off to Woodhaven Animal Hospital where he was treated for dehydration and pancreatitis.
In a strange twist of fate, veterinarians say the dog’s matted fur helped keep him warm in the freezing temperatures.
The dog, now named Miracle (or Alfonso by others), is expected to recover.
Kimberley Craig with WXYZ-TV reported that Alfonso had over two pounds of matted fur shaved off and that it was knotted down to his skin.
Alfonso will not be up for adoption presently as Trevino and the shelter staff are busily checking the claims from a number of people saying that this could be their dog. In the meantime, Alfonso will be looked after at the vet hospital.
A recent update from Alfonso’s vet said he is doing well and that he is getting oxygen treatments to speed his recovery.
Craig gave an extra shout out to Trevino and her efforts in helping save the dog on Facebook, writing: “Special heartfelt thanks to Patricia Trevino, Director of The River Rouge Animal Shelter who wouldn’t give up until someone did what had to be done to save the life of a dog. I’m also proud to call her a friend. She truly doesn’t like attention but everyday she fights for dozens of Miracles. They may not be stranded on the ice or get thousands of shares on social media, but they, too, are on the brink when she and her team make the save just in time.”
For Trevino, she’s happy that the dog survived. “I’m telling you, this dog had a guardian angel,” Trevino said. “I’m convinced of that.”
To support the The River Rouge Animal Shelter visit their Facebook page.