Dog rescued after more than week trapped inside shipping container at Texas port

Dog Rescued After More Than Week Trapped Inside Shipping Container At Texas Port
US Coast Guard workers with Connie the container dog
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By Juan A Lozano, AP

A routine day of inspecting shipping containers at the Port of Houston in Texas turned into something extraordinary when US Coast Guard officer Ryan McMahon and his team heard barking coming from inside one of the thousands of containers.

“Oh, it’s scratching, dude,” one of the inspectors said in video they recorded as the team looked up at the container, stacked about 25 feet in the air.


A crane was used to bring it to the ground, and out popped a very sweet and friendly dog.

“As soon as we opened it, we could see the little dog’s face poking out. 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, to be out of that dark space and in the arms of people that were going to take care of her,” said Mr McMahon, a petty officer 2nd class.

Connie the dog
Connie the dog was found trapped inside a shipping container (Petty officer 1st class Lucas Loe/US Coast Guard via AP)


Coast Guard officials would later determine that the canine – since nicknamed Connie the container dog – had been trapped inside for at least eight days, with no food or water.

She was a little dirty and “definitely pretty skinny,” Mr McMahon said.

Mr McMahon and the three other inspectors drove Connie to an animal shelter in the Houston suburb of Pasadena, where she was checked out. A rescue group, Forever Changed Animal Rescue, has taken her in and is working to get her healthy and ready for adoption.

Coast Guard officials are not sure where the container came from, but inside were vehicles that were probably being shipped overseas to be sold for parts.


“So based on that, they think that the dog most likely was in a junkyard, in a car. And that’s how she accidentally got put in the container,” said Coast Guard spokeswoman chief petty officer Corinne Zilnicki.

Workers found the dog when randomly selecting containers for inspection
Workers found the dog when randomly selecting containers for inspection (Petty officer 1st class Lucas Loe/US Coast Guard via AP)

Mr McMahon said he is grateful he and his team were at the right place and at the right time to hear Connie barking and prevent the container from being put on a cargo ship.


They usually conduct inspections once a week throughout the Port of Houston, and on the day they found Connie they were at the port’s Bayport Container Terminal which has more than 10,000 containers, he said.

“It would take at least another week to get to where she was going (on a cargo ship) and two weeks without food or water. I don’t think she would have made it,” Mr McMahon said.

Forever Changed Animal Rescue thanked “all of the amazing people involved in this rescue and saving Connie’s life”.

“We will also be doing a full workup on her to ensure that she receives all the care she needs and deserves,” the group said.


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