Dog Survives on Island for Months After Being Separated from Owners

Zaria, a Great Dane who ran away from her owners and eluded capture attempts for a month, has been rescued, according to animal control in a remote area of central Michigan.

Zaria had been successfully captured, the Clare County Animal Shelter announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday, bringing a conclusion to the tale that had captured the interest of dog lovers all over the internet. Following the month of being malnourished on her own, the white and brown Great Dane began to recuperate in a post that received more than 1,600 reactions and thanked the community for its help.

According to a post from the shelter, Zaria vanished the night of August 17 from her home in Harrison, a small town in the middle of Michigan’s lower peninsula. According to the post, the dog was two years old, 50 pounds, underweight due to her rapid metabolism, and friendly but afraid of headwear.

Last month, Bob Dobson, an animal control officer, told the Morning Sun that Zaria had been discovered on Cranberry Lake, northeast of Harrison, and had grown badly malnourished. Officers used a drone to locate the lost dog, but according to Dobson, animal control followed Zaria cautiously and slowly.

Dodson said in the Facebook post that featured a picture of a thinner Zaria, the skin-hugging her ribs as she walked through the island’s reeds, “We did not want to push her [too] hard as you can see in the picture we do not want to fatigue her [too] much, it may kill her.”

Harrison Lumber provided pallets to improve the volunteers’ access to the island after being advised they would get extremely wet, according to Dodson’s post. He also mentioned the placement of traps on the island by Moore’s Lost K9 Search and Recovery. He said, “Fingers crossed.”

When Zaria was left alone by her owner one night, Dodson told CBS station WNEM-TV in August that he believes she slipped free of her leash, started running, fell into the ocean, and swam until she reached the island.

According to the station, Dodson verified the dog was in “that fight or flight state right now.” She is currently in flying mode.

More traditional rescue procedures were less successful on the island due to the swampy terrain, according to the station. Rescuers started putting hot dogs, mac & cheese, and breakfast sandwiches nearby to entice Zaria after installing two traps on the island.

Zaria started eating and drinking regularly after putting the traps in place, but she was never close enough to the trap to set it off, according to ABC affiliate WPBN. Those attempting to capture the dog were also warned by Dodson that the island was privately owned and that the owner had threatened to press trespassing charges.

In a Facebook post published earlier in September, Moore’s Lost K9 Search and Recovery stated that Zaria grew more trusting, advancing farther within the trap each time she entered. However, the business claimed that Zaria was alarmed by island trespassers.

The business wrote in a post that “Zaria is continually gazing about and spooks back into the deep marsh with any additional noise.” “Zaria has paid a heavy price for this setback.”

Following the property owner’s announcement that he would no longer cooperate, the company announced in a post last week that it would stop its efforts after spending “hundreds of hours and sleepless nights conditioning Zaria for various traps.” According to the company, Zaria observed them remove their equipment and turn the recovery over to county animal control.

The head of Clare County Animal Control, Ruanne Hicks, told Newsweek via email that the agency eventually caught Zaria by utilizing its own trap, a lot of chicken, a borrowed camera, and a laser release mechanism.

Zaria was inspected by a veterinarian, according to animal control, and she will be given many tiny meals every day to help her body get used to regular feedings.

Zaria’s owner turned her into the shelter, where she will be placed in a foster home or with a rescue organization “when she is restored to normal health,” according to Hicks.