Connie, pregnant dog who was rescued from shipping container, dies after rare illness — rest in peace

One of the most memorable animal rescue stories of this year was “Connie the Container Dog,” the dog who was miraculously discovered by Coast Guard officers after being trapped in a shipping crate. The story took another turn when it was discovered that Connie was pregnant.

But sadly, there has been an unfortunate update to the story: Connie has died, after contracting a rare infection.

Connie’s story: found in shipping container

Connie first made headlines early this year, after a surprising and unlikely rescue.

On January 31, a team of marine inspectors from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston were on duty, randomly selecting shipping containers for inspection, according to a Facebook post from U.S. Coast Guard Heartland.

They were randomly choosing from thousands of containers — but suddenly, they noticed an unusual sound coming from a container 25 feet up.

“It’s scratching, dude!” one officer is heard saying in a TikTok video. They could also hear barking, and realized there was a live dog trapped in the unit.


Doing the kings business🫡 #uscg

♬ original sound – Luloe

The golden retriever had been in there for a week. The cargo unit was filled with junked vehicles being shipped overseas for parts, so the officers suspected she was a stray dog who had been hiding in a junkyard car.

The Coast Guard officers gave her water and called a local animal shelter. She was tired, hungry but most of all very happy to be rescued.

“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,” petty officer 2nd class Ryan McMahon told the Associated Press. “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.”


It was truly a miracle she was discovered at all: the Bayport Container Terminal, on the Port of Houston, has over 10,000 containers.

“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,” McMahon told AP. “I don’t think she would have made it.”

Surprise pregnancy

The rescued dog was dubbed “Connie the Container Dog.” Initially taken in by the nearby Pasadena Animal Shelter, she was soon transferred to Forever Changed Animal Rescue in Maryland.

There, while receiving a medical check-up, vets discovered a shocking twist in the story: Connie was pregnant! It turned out she had been carrying puppies her entire time in the cargo container, and despite the ordeal it was still a health pregnancy.

“The fetuses have strong heartbeats and were bouncing around, so while her pregnancy is guarded due to her being without food and water for 8 days or more, we are hopeful given what we could see,” Forever Changed wrote.

In February, Connie successfully gave birth to 8 beautiful puppies. While there were some health complications given Connie’s physical state, both the mom and pups pulled through.

Last month, it was reported that Connie and all of her puppies had been adopted.

Rest in peace, Connie

But Connie’s happy ending was sadly short-lived. On June 28, Forever Changed Animal Rescue announced that Connie had passed away.

The shelter said they were “devastated,” and that Connie died after a battle with pythiosis, an extremely rare and aggressive fungal infection that dogs can get from drinking or swimming in contaminated water. They said she likely contracted it while surviving as a stray in Texas.

Forever Changed says they did everything they could to help Connie fight the infection, but she “declined rapidly.” They were devastated that, after all she survived and went through, she died so soon after finally finding a home.

“After all she had been through and survived, we simply couldn’t believe that this was how her story was supposed to end,” the rescue wrote. “She was such a young dog, with the absolute sweetest spirit, and yet she was such a fighter, a true survivor.”

“She deserved so many years of love and happiness, and she had found THE MOST PERFECT family that was finally giving her that. While we are glad that she had a few good months of happiness and love, it will never seem like it was enough. She deserved more.”

“Connie, we are so very sorry. If love could have saved you, you’d still be with us, sweet girl. We love and miss you always. You fought so hard and deserved so much more. Rest easy, perfect girl. You’ll certainly never be forgotten.”

Though her life was tragically cut short, Forever Changed says that Connie still leaves behind an incredible legacy, through her inspiring story and the eight healthy puppies she is survived by.

Forever Changed also hopes that Connie’s story inspires others to adopt dogs like her. “There are thousands of dogs #justlikeConnie in Texas that are euthanized in shelters, or living and dying miserable deaths on the streets every day,” they wrote.

“Dogs are abandoned and dumped like trash constantly. Almost all of these dogs are intact, so they’re roaming the streets and reproducing like crazy, so then entire litters of puppies are also suffering on the streets or euthanized in shelters.”

Rest in peace, Connie 💔🥺 Gone too soon. Please share this story in memory of this beautiful dog.