Stranded dog rescued by crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay reunited with owner

CLEVELAND — The stray dog rescued on Monday afternoon on Lake St. Clair by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay was reunited with its owner Thursday night.

Jodi Benchich of St. Clair Shores, Mich., visited with her 14-year-old pet “KC” at the Wilson Veterinary Hospital before taking him back home. The dog sustained frostbite on his paws and also lost a significant amount of weight during the time he was lost.

Jodi Benchich (right), owner of the lost dog rescued by the Coast Guard on Monday, and Michelle Heyza, founder of A Rejoyceful Rescue, are all smiles during their time with KC at Wilson Veterinary Hospital, March 5, 2014. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay rescued the dog four miles from shore during ice-breaking operations Monday afternoon on Lake St. Clair. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Kim Gordus)

Jodi Benchich (right), owner of the lost dog rescued by the Coast Guard on Monday, and Michelle Heyza, founder of A Rejoyceful Animal Rescue, are all smiles during their time with KC at Wilson Veterinary Hospital, March 5, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Kim Gordus)

“KC is happy to be back home and is eating everything we give him,” said a very happy Benchich. “We’re forever grateful to the Coast Guard and hope to be able to thank the crew in person sometime soon.”

On Monday afternoon, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay spotted the dog four miles from shore during ice-breaking operations on Lake St. Clair. The crew then brought him aboard the ship to provide him with food, water and first aid.

Once the ship returned to its homeport of Detroit on Tuesday afternoon, the crew contacted A Rejoyceful Animal Rescue which made arrangements to have the dog taken to the vet clinic for further treatment. On Tuesday evening, Chief Petty Officer Joshua Bozarth of the Bristol Bay tapped his social media network to locate the owner.

“We are all happy this rescue had a happy ending,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Henry, Bristol Bay’s commanding officer.”Although KC was on board for only a day, some of the crew really took a liking to him.”

Editors note: following the rescue, the Coast Guard published advice to other dogs thinking of venturing out on ice on the official Coast Guard Great Lakes Blog, titled: “Dog Blog: How to avoid a ruff time on the ice.

 

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