A dog was rescued from an island and is now safe in the hands of staff at a mid-Michigan animal shelter.
A contestant in the Freeland Walleye Festival spotted the dog Sunday on Green Point Island where the Saginaw River branches off at the Tittabawassee and Shiawassee rivers.
Robert Debolt was intending to reel in a big one Sunday afternoon during the Festival, but something else caught his eye.
“We was on the Shiawassee River drifting for walleye of course and we seen an animal on shore,” Debolt said.
A dog stranded on Green Point Island..
“My buddy was whistling at her and she stayed there and we got closer to shore and she took off running,” Debolt said.
The moment stuck with him throughout the night and the next day. Worried about the dog's ability to survive, he called for help.
“I knew if she was left there she would die,” Debolt said.
Saginaw County Animal Care and Control worked with the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department went to the island and spotted the dog. Officers set a trap with food Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, they received a call from someone reporting incessant barking on the island. The trap had worked.
“We're happy to report that we did take possession of the dog, she’s a very good dog looks like she's lived kind of a hard life she’s full of scars and marks,” said Saginaw County Animal Care and Control Director Bonnie Kanicki.
The dog rescuers named her "River" and she didn't have a microchip or collar. Kanicki thinks she was abandoned.
"The island is situated where it's highly unlikely the dog would have been able to swim out there on its own,” Kanicki said.
Investigators are trying to track down the dog's owner and based on what they're able to learn, it's possible river will be put up for adoption.
She already has a family ready to welcome her with open arms.
“My buddy Eric that was with us is going to adopt her immediately as soon as she is ready to leave the facility. We're not going to let her go we're going to keep her right in the family,” Debolt said.