Dog rescued by Coast Guard officers after being trapped in a shipping container — then vets make shock discovery

A surprising update to a story we brought you last week: a team of Coast Guard officers saved a dog’s life after she was trapped in a shipping container… and later discovered a shocking twist.

Rescuing “Connie the Container Dog”

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

They lowered the container, and out popped a dog, who was reportedly very happy to be rescued. She had been in the container for at least a week, and was tired and hungry. The Coast Guard members gave her water and called a local animal shelter for help.

“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.”


The dog has now been dubbed “Connie the Container Dog.”

According to AP, the officers thought about adopting the dog themselves, but the time wasn’t right for any of them. “We know with all this, she’s going to go to a good home where they love her and take care of her,” McMahon said.

It’s not entirely clear how Connie ended up locked in the container, but the unit was filled with junked vehicles being shipped overseas for parts, so the officers suspect the dog was a stray who had gotten into a junkyard car.

They officers saved her life, but said that it’s 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.”

Surprising update

Connie was initially taken to the nearby Pasadena Animal Shelter, but was then transferred to Forever Changed Animal Rescue in Maryland. The rescue wrote that they would give “Connie her new shot at life” and ensure that she finds “the amazing home that she is so deserving of.”

They also wrote that the Coast Guard officers who saved her were there to see her off at the airport, as pilots from Pilots N Paws flew her to Virginia.

Upon her arrival, the rescue performed a full veterinary workup, and made an unbelievable discovery… Connie was pregnant!

It turned out that Connie had been carrying puppies the entire time she was in that shipping container. Despite the ordeal, it is still a healthy 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, adding that the dog would be residing with their veterinarian throughout her pregnancy.

While it is sweet news that makes this rescue story even more miraculous, Forever Changed Animal Rescue says that another litter of puppies is not necessarily good news, especially when many shelters are already struggling with overpopulation.

“While it seems like a really happy thing, it’s also tough because let’s say she has five puppies — those are five dogs that will be adopted into homes,” Andrea Deoudes from the rescue told the Washington Post. “And there’s already five puppies alive somewhere else that may be euthanized because they’re not going to be get adopted.”

The rescue said they would continue to post updates about Connie and her pregnancy, and if all goes well health-wise, the mom and her pups will all be placed up for adoption. Hopefully, the attention to the story will mean they will have no trouble finding homes soon.

“We know we will find her an amazing home,” Deoudes said. “It’s going to be tough because we’re going to receive a million applications.”

What an unbelievable twist to an already unbelievable rescue story! We are wishing Connie the best during her pregnancy and hope she and her babies all find great homes when the time comes.

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