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Dog rescued from frozen Detroit River after being stranded for days

Small dog survived single-digit temperatures stranded on the ice

ECORSE, Mich. – A dog who had been stranded on the frozen Detroit River for four days was rescued Saturday.

Fonzi survived four bitterly cold days on the ice in Ecorse, near John D. Dingell Park.

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

Trevino said Fonzi was stuck on the river in the cold for four days.

“Apparently a coyote came off Mud Island and chased him out further into the Detroit River,” Trevino said.

She said her crew watched him every day as they hoped and prayed he would make it back to solid ground safely.

“The first night, we thought for sure he was going to perish because the coyote had been chasing him,” Trevino said.

Trevino said the temperature dropped to single digits and they were unable to find anyone to help due to the conditions of the river until Saturday when some Good Samaritans hopped in a boat and went into the river to save him.

The rescuer did not want to be identified but said they were glad to help.

Animal crews said Fonzi is not out of the clear yet. He’s very sick and they are expecting to keep him in the animal hospital for at least five days.

About the Authors:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.