Dog found alive after 4 weeks trapped under rubble in the Bahamas.
A drone flew over the wreckage, using an infrared camera to try to identify heat — a sign of possible life hidden amid the rubble.
It had been a month since Hurricane Dorian decimated the Bahamas with Category 5 strength, killing at least 50 people. Search-and-rescue missions had long ago given way to stoic efforts to recover the bodies of the dead.
Then, the drone operated by Florida-based shelter Big Dog Ranch Rescue sensed heat. A volunteer trudged more than half a mile over debris to where an air-conditioning unit and piles of metal had trapped the survivor: a 1-year-old mixed-breed puppy.
“It’s a miracle this little dog had the will to live and to survive in the conditions he was in,” Lauree Simmons, president and founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, said Monday.
The puppy discovered Friday in Marsh Harbour, formerly the most densely populated neighborhood on Great Abaco Island, was among more than 150 animals the rescue group has flown to the United States from the Bahamas since the hurricane. Often, Simmons said, the organization finds the pets on the spots where their homes once stood. They’ve reunited some animals with their owners, while other pets wait for new homes.
Rescuers had been looking for specific dogs with known owners when they stumbled upon the trapped puppy. Volunteer Sean Irion sat with him for a few minutes, letting him lick dog food out of a can, to gain his trust. His ribs showed through his light brown fur.
“Look at that tail wagging!” Irion said to the dog, according to a video of the rescue. “We’ve got you.”
Irion and another volunteer then heaved debris out of the way and gently placed a leash around the dog’s neck. Irion picked up the dog, silent and unmoving, and carried him out of the wreckage.