Skip to main content

Great Dane rescued after being found stranded on island for weeks

Zaria the Great Dane
(Image credit: Clare County Animal Control)

A Great Dane dog that found itself stranded on a island after escaping from its owners has been rescued after a number of days on the run.

Somehow, Zaria, a two-year-old Great Dane, became stranded on an island on Cranberry Lake in Clare County, Michigan after running away from its owners sometime in August.

“What we were told was that the dog got off its collar that was on a leash at nighttime,” said Bob Dodson of Clare County Animal Control Officer.

“She took off running, didn’t know which way it was running, headed down towards the lake, hit the lake, and we apparently figured it swam across the canal and ended up on the island.”

After initially planning for volunteers to search the island, officers from Clare County Animal Control instead opted to leave out food traps, with the intended effect of building up trust.

Although it took a while to have an impact – Zaria was constantly getting spooked by noises – after what has been described as “hundreds of hours and sleepless nights conditioning Zaria for multiple traps”, she was eventually rescued, with her owners surrendering her to Animal Control.

Having been found to be malnourished, Zaria was treated by a vet, who prescribed her to be fed several small meals a day until she had sufficient strength to maintain a proper diet.

“We’re going to keep assessing her, making sure she’s gaining weight, get her back to the vet, it’ll be a week or so just to double check,” said Ruanne Hicks of Clare County Animal Control. 

“She’s not very trusting but she’s extremely sweet. She never offered to growl, she never offered a bite, nothing.”

Zaria will be assessed and cared for by the Clare County Animal Control before she makes her way to a foster home. For further updates on her condition, check out the Clare County Animal Control Facebook page (opens in new tab).

Steve writes and proofreads buying guides, news stories and advice for Pets Radar, drawing on his lifelong experience as a pet owner. Currently sharing his house with two cats and a dog, he draws on the many highs and occasional lows of pet ownership he has borne witness to in his writing. He has worked in publishing for 15 years as an editor, sub editor and writer on a range of titles, such as SciFiNow, How It Works, All About History, Real Crime and Horrorville. You can follow him on Twitter @stevewright22