Dog Saved From Shipping Container Dies; 8 Puppies Will Live 'Life She Missed Out On'

A dog who made national headlines after being rescued from a shipping container in February has died from a rare infection.

Connie the container dog, as she became known, spent more than a week trapped inside one of the thousands of shipping containers at the Port of Houston in Texas before U.S. Coast Guard inspectors happened to hear barking and scratching from inside.

The small golden dog was dirty and skinny, and had gone least eight days with no food or water. But she was also immediately friendly and affectionate. She was transferred to the care of a Maryland-based rescue group, which soon discovered she was pregnant. Connie and her eight puppies all found homes, but on Friday, the rescue group shared a sad update. Connie had died from pythiosis, a rare fungal infection.

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

The pythium fungus that causes pythiosis is rare in Maryland, the animal rescue noted, but more common in Texas, and dogs can contract it from drinking or swimming in contaminated water. The rescue group suspects Connie got it from drinking water outside before she got stuck in the shipping container. The dog had gastrointestinal lesions, and despite comprehensive veterinary treatment, Connie “declined rapidly.”

Connie had been living with a family who “was finally giving her” the love she deserved, the nonprofit wrote.

“While we are glad that she had a few good months of happiness and love, it will never seem like it was enough.”

The rescue group added that Connie’s “legacy” was not only her story, but “her 8 puppies who will get to live the life she missed out on.” The post also expressed hope that Connie’s story will raise awareness of the numerous dogs euthanized in animal shelters.

“There are too many dogs and not enough people involved in rescue, fostering, or adopting,” the nonprofit wrote. “Stricter laws involving ownership/treatment of animals and spaying/neutering are desperately needed across the country.”

The post concluded with a bittersweet send-off to Connie.

“If love could have saved you, you’d still be with us, sweet girl,” it said. “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.”