Coastguardsmen Rescue a Very Lucky Dog After Eight Days in a Container

Dog with coastguardsman
Courtesy USCG

Published Feb 5, 2024 7:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

Last week, a team of Coast Guard marine inspectors rescued a dog that had been trapped inside a shipping container, saving it from an export voyage and an uncertain fate. 

As PO2 Ryan McMahon and his team were walking through a container terminal at Port of Houston, they heard barking and scratching from a container stacked high above them. They got the terminal's longshoremen to bring the container to the ground, and when they opened it up, a shaggy dog came out through the door. 

"She was right there, like she knew we were going to be there to open it for her. And she just, she wasn’t scared or anything. She just seemed happy more than anything," McMahon told the AP. 

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, the container was full of junked cars, and it is possible that the dog - nicknamed "Connie" by the inspectors - was hiding in a vehicle and loaded in along with them. 

The coastguardsmen took the dog to a nearby animal shelter, where the dog received a full veterinary checkup. After treatment for heartworm and a healthy feeding to get her on the road to recovery, she will be put up for adoption. (McMahon says his team isn't able to take her in.)

It appeared that the dog had been trapped in the container for at least eight days; if the box had been exported, she would have been inside throughout an overseas transit, possibly all the way to West Africa (a common destination for wrecked car exports). "I don't think she would have made it," McMahon told the AP.

For Connie, her ordeal in a container may be turning into a lucky break. After making national news, she has been transferred to an animal rescue agency in the Washington suburbs - by private plane, no less - and is staying in comfortable quarters while her veterinarian weighs a flood of adoption requests.