A dog nicknamed Elsa is lucky to be alive after rescuers found her frozen to the ground outside her owner’s home in Ecorse, Michigan. The 10-year-old chow mix had frostbitten ears and bloody paws, but now she’s being kept warm and cozy as she tries to recover from her horrific ordeal.
According to the Daily Mail, a neighbor reported Elsa’s plight to the authorities after hearing the dog whimpering early Tuesday morning. Animal control officers found Elsa tangled up in her leash and unable to reach her water bowl. However, it wouldn’t have mattered if she could — because of the below freezing temperatures outside, the water inside the bowl was frozen solid.
According to Patricia Trevino of the River Rogue Animal Shelter, it took half an hour to get Elsa free from her icy prison. The dog’s rescuers had to pour warm water on her legs to get them unfrozen from the ground.
“Her two legs were frozen. The side of her face and her side, she was literally laying [sic] frozen to the ground,” Trevino told WJBK-TV.
Elsa’s toes were frozen together, and her feet bled whenever she tried to walk.
— KTVU (@KTVU) February 19, 2015
The dog’s rescuers decided to give her the nickname Elsa in honor of the beloved ice princess from Disney’s Frozen. However, this Elsa is nothing like the animated character — the cold definitely bothers her.
Now Elsa is recovering at the Healthy Paws Veterinary Medical Center in Westland, Michigan. The clinic has been sharing updates on Elsa’s condition on its Facebook page.
“Elsa is continuing to improve,” the most recent update reads. “There is a notable improvement in how she is walking around, now that she has been on pain medication the last few days for her arthritis. She is adjusting nicely to her new home. She eagerly greets her caregivers by nudging their legs with her muzzle before crawling into their laps to cuddle. She is a true miracle, and we are happy to be able to continue to give her love and medical attention, every day.”
Police pursue felony cruelty charges for owner of dog frozen to ground http://t.co/0Kgov7NZ52 pic.twitter.com/ojr8msLvWZ
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) February 19, 2015
Elsa has received donations from animal lovers all over the country, and she also owes a big thanks to neighbor Marylou Rotrock — she played a key part in saving the dog’s life.
“I kept hearing (the dog), so I had to walk over there,” Rotrock told FOX 2 Detroit. “And I’m not one that goes over on other people’s property. Something told me I had to.”
Rotrock says that Elsa was so hungry that she had been eating plastic bags.
Rotrock reported Elsa’s plight to animal control, and now police are pursuing felony charges of animal cruelty against her former owner.
Naming rescued animals after characters from Disney’s Frozen is becoming a bit of a trend. Earlier this month, a cat was found frozen to the side of a building in Burlington, Ontario. According to the Burlington Post, his rescuers named him Olaf after Elsa’s snowman companion. The Inquisitr has also reported on the recent rescues of two other animal Elsas who got dangerously close to freezing to death: a cute kitten and a plucky pit bull.
Hopefully, these stories about incredibly lucky Elsas and Olafs will serve as important reminders for all pet owners — cats and dogs aren’t ice princesses, so don’t leave them outside when it’s freezing.
[Image credits: Disney, Healthy Paws Facebook]