One month after Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas, leaving at least 50 dead, and weeks after search and rescue efforts have concluded, a Florida-based animal shelter has found an unexpected miracle in Marsh Harbour on Grand Abaco Island.
Using a drone outfitted with an infrared camera, a volunteer with Big Dog Ranch Rescue noticed a strange concentration of heat coming from the rubble, the Washington Post reports.
Sean Irion walked through half a mile of debris and dust to reach the site the drone examined. He found one dead dog in the wreckage, but under a broken air-conditioner and sheet metal hid a terrified survivor, a 1-year-old mixed-breed puppy.
“It’s a miracle this little dog had the will to live and to survive in the conditions he was in,” said Lauree Simmons, president and founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
Irion and his colleagues spent days looking for missing dogs when they found the year-old mutt. He sat with the hungry dog, feeding him from a can of food. Its ribs visibly protruding from an empty belly, the dog seemed grateful for the rescue.
“Look at that tail wagging!” Irion can be heard saying to the dog in a video of the rescue. “We’ve got you.”
For the previous four weeks, the dog had nothing to eat or drink but rainwater left by Dorian. Irion and his colleague knew it was in desperate need of medical attention, so they called Simmons, who arranged an immediate flight back to Big Dog Ranch in Florida.
After carrying the dog away from the rubble, it and at least 150 others were transported to the shelter by airplane. Back at Big Dog Ranch, a veterinarian diagnosed the dog with anemia. It had lost 23 pounds during the ordeal, its body weight lingering around a perilously unhealthy 22. A course of antibiotics, more food and some light exercise helped the puppy regain some vigor after a few days.
It’s going to be many more before the dog will be released from the shelter, but a full recovery is expected.
It’s a miracle the dog survived, so that’s what they named it.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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