A puppy is now recovering after being stuck on ice in the Detroit River for four days in frigid temperatures.
The dog, who is 12 to 18 months old and was named Alfonso by his rescuers, ended up on the Detroit River on Wednesday — likely after being chased onto the ice-filled waterway by a coyote. For the next four days, the canine fought for his life in the bitter cold as local citizens attempted to rescue him, according to the Detroit Free Press and local news station WXYZ.
On Sunday, Jude Mead of J&J Marine — a marine construction company in Windsor, Ontario — and his team were able to rescue Alfonso by using an airboat, which the chemical company BASF Corp. allowed them to use.
"They physically went out to this small island where he was and they were able to physically rescue him," said Dr. Lucretia Greear, Woodhaven Animal Hospital veterinarian, per WXYZ. "He was hiding on this little uninhabited piece of land, but it was very difficult to get there because of the ice."
Immediately after being rescued, Alfonso was taken to Woodhaven Animal Hospital in Michigan by Patricia Trevino, director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, according to the Detroit Free Press.
While Alfonso suffered from frostbite on his paw pads and scrotum, dehydration and pancreatitis during his four days in the ice, his condition has vastly improved since being taken to the hospital.
"It's pretty amazing," Dr. Greear told WXYZ. "He's a miracle walking."
Alfonso's owners are still unknown. He reportedly had no collar or tag on when he was found, and a microchip was not detected in a scan.
"He's a very sweet, very affectionate, wonderful-temperament dog," Greear said. "He's looking for companionship more than anything. He seems so confident to be around people which is really sweet."
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