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U.S. Coast Guard rescues stray dog after she fell through ice of Detroit River

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 14:55:32-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A stray dog rescued by members of the U.S. Coast Guard is doing well at Detroit Animal Care and Control after she was pulled from the icy waters near Grayhaven Island on the Detroit's west side.

"She was breaking through the ice, trying to climb out and, especially for an animal, it's a very hard thing to do," said Petty Officer Christian Hutchisson.

Photos taken by the Coast Guard show Petty Officer Cole Harper suited up and walking to the dog and returning to the boat with her while on his stomach.

"Very fortunate that we were there when we were there," Hutchisson said.

The well-mannered pooch loves the attention she's getting and she was taken to the City of Detroit's shelter to recuperate for the duration of a stray hold.

"That dog was so lucky that the Coast Guard was there and someone spotted her at that particular time," said dog rescuer Jennifer Wright of Dachshund Haus & Corgi Rescue. "Her ending would have been very different and it kind of makes us think of the ones that maybe we don't find."

Wright was part of a group of animal advocates led by Patricia Trevino, who was instrumental in saving a small dog that was stuck on the icy Detroit River in February 2021.

Professional photographer Tim Epperly was the first to spot the lost dog out on the ice. And the dog remained stranded for several days as Trevino, who serves as director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, kept vigil on the banks of the river in Ecorse while trying to summon help for the dog that kept slipping into the water but managed to pull himself out.

Wright said the dog, who would later be called Miracle, would not have survived had it not been for Epperly, Trevino, Andrea Mitchell, Julie Redfield of Grosse Ile animal control, Cindy Noss, Jeff Kerekes, and, ultimately, Jude Mead Jr. of J & J Marine in Windsor who used one of his boats to make the rescue.

Mead and his family later adopted Miracle.

As for the dog rescued by the Coast Guard on New Year's Eve, we're told one of their members has expressed interest in adopting the dog if no one comes forward with proof of ownership.

Wright and others are thankful the Coast Guard saw the dog while on patrol and took action.

"That dog had an angel watching over her because she certainly didn't have 20 people at a park, rooting and praying for her to be saved," Wright said.

This article was written by Kimberly Craig for WXYZ.