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Mayday Call, of the Wild

Dogs. We love them. The Coast Guard often brings them to safety with their owners.
Four men pose with a yellow dog.
Ron labrec web v
by Ron LaBrec
February 6, 2024

We recently highlighted the Coast Guard rescue of Leo, the golden retriever, who fell from an Oregon cliff.

Since then, it appears the Coast Guard is on a canine cavalcade in recent weeks with dogs saved from a ship off the coast of San Diego, icy Great Lakes waters, and a shipping container in Houston.

The Coast Guard rescued a man and his dog from a vessel off San Diego on January 23 after a destructive storm hit the region.

A black and white dog sits covered in a blanket in a Coast Guard vehicle.
Members of Coast Guard Station Kenosha rescued a dog from the water near the Great Lakes Yacht Club in Kenosha Harbor, Wisconsin, January 25, 2024. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Two days later members of Coast Guard Station Kenosha rescued a dog from the icy waters of Kenosha Harbor, Wisconsin.

At approximately 1:40 p.m., Petty Officer Liam Bartram saw a dog fall off a pier. Station Kenosha’s ice rescue team immediately assembled their gear and rushed to the scene.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Skala and Petty Officer Brewster attempted to call the dog closer to the pier. “She was struggling to swim between the ice floes in the harbor and couldn’t climb onto any of them” said Skala. “She was in the water about 15 minutes before she was able to make it close enough for us to grab her.” Leaning over the pier’s edge with Brewster anchoring his legs, Skala pulled the dog out of the ice-filled water.

Five Coast Guard members pose in protective gear on a pier
Members of Coast Guard Station Kenosha's ice rescue team saved a dog from the icy waters near the Great Lakes Yacht Club in Kenosha Harbor, Wisconsin, January 25, 2024. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The ice rescue team quickly wrapped the dog in a wool blanket and brought her to the Kenosha Humane Society, where she was cared for and then released to Coast Guard personnel who are working to unite the dog with her owners.

A yellow dog.
A dog rescued by the Coast Guard looks toward the camera at the Bayport Container Terminal in Seabrook, Texas, January 31, 2024. Four marine science technicians from Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston found the dog trapped in a shipping container and brought her to Pasadena Animal Shelter for further care. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lucas Loe)

Coast Guard personnel inspecting a container ship in Houston discovered a dog trapped in a shipping container. Believed trapped for more than a week without food or water, the Coast Guard saved Connie the Container Dog after she was heard barking and scratching.

But sometimes, it’s the dogs themselves that do the rescuing. Many Coast Guard stations have dogs as part of the crew. These companions can brighten the days of Coast Guard members living far from home or dealing with the stress that comes with their demanding duties.

Two dogs on a pier near a boat.
Morale dogs and social media influencers Thor and Loki pose in front of Coast Guard Station Marquette's motor lifeboat. (Coast Guard photo)

Thor and Loki are morale dogs at Coast Guard Station Marquette, Michigan. In addition to keeping the crew company, they are social media influencers, encouraging Great Lakes boaters to wear life jackets and practice good seamanship.

A dog in front of the Coast Guard Shield.
Coast Guard Chief Dog Sinbad served on the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell in WWII. (Coast Guard photo illustration by George Gray)

We’ll leave you with the story of the most famous Coast Guard dog, Sinbad. Sinbad was a combat veteran and had a long, and somewhat checkered, record of service aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell in WWII.

Title image: Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryan Wainscott, Petty Officer 1st Class Lucas Loe, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan McMahon, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Jose Reyes, all marine science technicians at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, pose with Connie the Container Dog at Pasadena Animal Shelter in Pasadena, Texas, January 31, 2024. The four discovered the dog trapped in a shipping container at the Bayport Container Terminal when they heard her barking during an inspection. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

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