‘Amazing story of survival.’ Dog was stranded on icy Michigan river for four days

Dawson White
·2 min read

A resilient pup is recovering at a Michigan animal hospital after spending days stranded on an icy river, hospital workers say.

“It’s an amazing story of survival,” Patricia Trevino, with the River Rouge Animal Shelter, told WDIV.

The dog got trapped on the icy Detroit River Wednesday and remained there four days until his rescue from Mud Island on Saturday, WXYZ reported.

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“Apparently a coyote came off Mud Island and chased him out further into the Detroit River,” Trevino told WDIV, adding that she and her team watched for days hoping the dog would make it safely back to land.

The fragile ice threw a wrench in rescue efforts, which included international attempts — La Salle Fire and Rescue from across the river in Canada tried to reach the pup, WXYZ reported.

But it was a Canadian boater who reached the 1-year-old pooch named Alfonso.

He said it took roughly 30 minutes to find the pup — who “was scared, hiding in the trees, frozen” — and bring him back to shore, the Detroit Free Press reported. Alfonso was met with cheers when he was returned. The modest rescuer didn’t want to be identified.

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“It’s pretty amazing,” veterinarian Lucretia Greear with the Woodhaven Animal Hospital, where Alfonso is being treated, told WXYZ. “(It) definitely wasn’t his time. He’s a miracle walking.”

Alfonso is recovering from frostbite, pancreatitis and dehydration, but is said to be improving, according to the Free Press. Alfonso’s owner is not known.

On Saturday, Greear said Alfonso was “certainly not out of the woods” adding that the team was “going to use the hyperbaric chamber, we have him on IV fluids, antibiotics, and we’re basically doing everything we can to bring him to 100%,” Greear told the Free Press.

By Sunday morning, he was doing much better.

The Woodhaven Animal Hospital posted an update on Alfonso, explaining that pup is doing well; Alfonso is still on IV fluids, but he’s keeping food down and the team was able to remove his matted hair.

They’re keeping him in a sweater and preventing him from going outdoors “since he was outside for so long.” More blood tests are planned.

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Mud Island is on the Michigan side of the river just south of Detroit.