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Coast Guard Was Inspecting a Port, Noticed Strange Barking

'Connie the Container Dog' was definitely an unexpected surprise
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2024 8:12 AM CST
Coast Guard Was Inspecting a Port, Noticed Strange Barking
This image shows Connie, who was found trapped inside a shipping container on Wednesday at the Bayport Container Terminal at the Port of Houston.   (Petty Officer 1st Class Lucas Loe/US Coast Guard via AP)

Keen ears on the part of a group of US Coast Guard inspectors led to the rescue last week of a dog trapped in a Texas shipping container. Bryan Wainscott, Ryan McMahon, Lucas Loe, and Jose Reyes were on the job Wednesday at the Port of Houston, randomly selecting containers to check out from the thousands sitting at the port, when they suddenly heard some strange noises—namely, barking and scratching, according to a statement from the US Coast Guard Heartland. The sounds were coming from a receptacle stacked 25 feet high, per NBC News, so the team arranged for it to be lowered by crane, at which point they made an "unexpected" discovery: a dog stuck inside.

"This sweet girl was trapped in the container for at least a week and was tired, hungry, and very happy to see her rescuers," the Coast Guard statement notes. Although dirty and emaciated after days with no food or water, the parched pooch since named "Connie the Container Dog" was seen in video wagging her tail and sniffing around after her rescue. A Coast Guard rep tells NBC they're not sure where Connie came from, but that since there were a bunch of junked vehicles in her container, she likely was hiding out in a junkyard car that had been placed inside the container.

McMahon says if they hadn't found her, Connie would've likely gone at least another week without sustenance as the containers were shipped overseas to their next destination, likely to sell for parts. The dog was brought to a local animal shelter, then transferred to Forever Changed Animal Rescue, which said Friday that Connie was a slightly underweight 30 pounds and tested positive for heartworms, which FCAR says it's treating. It's not clear if she's been scooped up by a forever home yet. Members of the foursome who found her had thought about adopting her themselves, but they ultimately decided none of them could take her in at the moment, per the AP. "We know ... she's going to go to a good home where they love her and take care of her," McMahon says. (More dog stories.)

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