Dog Rescued by U.S. Coast Guard from Frozen Lake St. Clair is Reunited with Grateful Owner

A dog they called “Lucky” was rescued by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bristol Bay from the icy surface of Lake St. Clair on Monday.

The cutter was on its way to help a boat stuck in ice when the lookout spotted what he thought was a group of foxes in the distance on the ice. However, as they moved closer, one canine was obviously larger and they soon realized it was a dog.

Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf said three petty officers donned their weather-resistant gear and left the ship to help the dog, which was on the ice about 4½ to 5 miles off shore, between Jefferson Beach Marina and Lake Front Park in St. Clair Shores. They took a stretcher-like device and the big dog was willingly carried to the ship as the foxes scampered away.

Haraf said the dog was cold, weak and tired. They estimated he was about 13 years old. It appeared that it may have been on the ice for several days. There were three burrows near the rescue point that the dog had tried to dig for protection.

Haraf said the paws of the large mixed-breed dog were bleeding and the nails were pretty much down to nothing.”

After he was safely on board, the ship’s crew kindly gave him water and fed him a chicken breast and other food. They also administered first aid, Haraf said.

The 140-foot ice-breaking tug pulled into its home port in Detroit, and a seaman took the dog to a veterinarian on Tuesday night.

Crew members said it is a mystery how he became stranded so far out on the ice. He was wearing a harness and collar but no tag, so they could not immediately contact an owner. At that time, they were just hopeful that “Lucky” would find a good home.


The media heard about and quickly broadcast the story of the lucky dog’s rescue. That’s when Jodi Benchich saw her beloved 14-year-old dog KC, who had been missing for ten days. She said she had been searching everywhere for him.

“(I) found that the rope was broke and I just dropped everything and went searching,' Ms Benchich told WXYZ. She did not explain how KC happened to be tied on a rope in the freezing weather.

The veterinarian who examined him said that KC had not suffered any irreparable damage. His frostbite and 30-pound weight loss can be fixed with good food and loving care, he affirmed. The fact that he has lived 14 years and is still in good enough condition to survive this ordeal indicates that KC has had a lot of both.

The big dog had covered a lot of territory. The lake where he was found is about 30 miles away from his home in Romeo, Michigan, reports the Daily Mail.

'I owe the Coast Guard guys a lot. It's amazing that they'll stop to even help an animal,' Jodi Benchich said.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, WBLX, Daily Mail


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