Dog rescued after stranded on island for weeks

CLARE CO., Mich. (WNEM) – A dog who was stuck on an island in Clare County for weeks has been rescued.

Zaria, a 2-year-old Great Dane, ran from her owners and ended up in the middle of Cranberry Lake in August.

“I think the difference was we did not put anything outside of the cage at all. She ate inside the cage for about two and a half days. We set the trap and we got her,” said Ruanne Hicks, director of Clare County Animal Control.

Zaria was rescued Wednesday, Sept. 21 by animal control. Because Zaria was scared of people, rescuers set up a live trap using food as bait, and deployed cameras to track her movements.

A dog who was stuck on an island in Clare County for weeks has been rescued.(Clare County Animal Control)

“Once we set our trap about there you know, we would put food at the entrance of the gate, make a trail line that would go back to a laser beam that went across or a beam that went across where she went so far in and shut the gate,” said Bob Dodson, animal control officer.

That plan required a lot of patience – patience that stretched into weeks of waiting for just the right moment. It happened as Hicks and Dodson were eating lunch.

“We jumped up. He drove really really fast and we got out here. He had to kayak to the island, get the pontoon boat, come back for me. And then we went back across,” Hicks said.

Once they were there, Hicks entered the trap to put the leash on Zaria. Once she was secured, Dodson safely carried her out and they immediately took her to the vet.

“She’s emaciated obviously, but other than that appears to be in pretty good health. She has a yeast infection on her feet, we’ve got her on antibiotics just in case,” Hicks said.

Zaria will be fed small meals each day until her body can adjust.

“She’s gonna be doing a lot of resting and recovery here probably at least a month I would guess. She’s in a secluded area where nobody’s gonna be seeing her slow feed. Retrain the brain. Yup, just kind of getting her used to knowing people are OK again and then we’re probably looking at either a foster home or a rescue,” Hicks said.

Although she’s in a safe place, Zaria has not been wagging her tail or showing the kind of affection dogs are known for.

Hicks and Dodson say she eventually will go up for adoption, though that could be months away.

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