A pet dog who disappeared after being frightened by New Year’s Eve fireworks has been found by a fisherman after she apparently jumped in the water and carried on swimming until she reached a remote island almost three miles away.
Mel the pooch fled from her home, where she had been left alone, on the night of 31st December last year after being startled by fireworks being set off to bring in the New Year.
She fled to nearby Itaipuacu Beach, where she was used to going with her owners, and then, after jumping in the water, managed to swim more than four kilometres to the Ilhas Maricas (Maricas Islands), which lie off the coast of Marica, near Rio de Janeiro in south-eastern Brazil.
Her owner Cassia Oliveira, 38, said: “Mel got lost during the fireworks. Last week we received a message that she had been found by the fisherman.”
Manoel Moura, 60, was at sea when he heard a dog barking from atop the island. He told his colleague about it, but the man did not believe him at first.
Manoel said: “They thought I was mad, but I looked and saw the dog, beneath a cactus.
“Afterwards, my colleague saw it too, but we couldn’t get close because it was hiding in the cactus bush, in an area with difficult access.
“As I fish almost every day, I returned and tried to get to the dog, but it headed into the bush. I left food for it and it came.
“That dog swam to the island! This isn’t a fisherman’s tale.”
Manoel finally managed to rescue the pooch with a lifeguard after he called for assistance from Civil Defence.
When Mel was found, she had an injured paw and a kidney problem from lack of water. She was at risk of dying and was taken to a veterinarian straight away.
When an acquaintance of Cassia recognised the pooch and sent her a photo, Cassia could not believe her eyes.
Mel had been with Cassia and her family for nine years after they took her off the streets.
Cassia was reunited with Mel after spending a few days recovering at the vet’s, on Tuesday, 3rd May.
Cassia said: “We are happy and grateful to everyone who worked to rescue and help our dog.”
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Lee Bullen, Agency: Newsflash
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