A dog has been reunited with her family after falling off a boat and swimming to shore.
Rylee the Belgian Malinois was on the boat on Lake Michigan, Illinois, with owners Kristin and Ed Casas when she jumped overboard.
Her owners were fixing an electric problem on the boat, meaning they didn’t realise their dog was missing until it was too late.
After searching for hours, the couple asked the Facebook page ‘Lost Dog Search Team’ to put a call out in case anyone found their dog along the shore.
Sure enough, their pet was spotted by a local who helped return an exhausted Rylee to her owners.
It is believed that Rylee, who is 10 months old, swam six miles and then walked a further 12 miles before she was picked up.
Once her owners had realised their pooch was missing, they made a “dog overboard” announcement on their radio, Up North Live reported.
The coastguard and several fishermen helped the desperate couple to search for their beloved dog, but to no avail.
One of the fisherman from the search party got in touch with Lynn Fiedor who runs the ‘Lost Dog Search Team’ Facebook page, asking her to share a photo of their missing dog in case she turned up.
The post reached 20,000 people and, sure enough, a local fisherman recognised the pooch from the Facebook page and notified her owners.
After Rylee was reunited with her family, the ‘Lost Dog Search Team’ Facebook page issued a heartfelt thank you to everyone who had pulled together to help find the pup.
“We were able to help reunite this amazing dog with her very loving family with the help of several people,” wrote Fiedor.
“A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the fishermen who responded to the distress call to search the waters, thank you to all of you who called in crucial sightings, to the Leland Harbormaster for allowing this family to borrow your truck to go rescue their furbaby.
“Also, thank you to the Leelenau Sheriffs Dept for dealing with all of my phone calls and to all the Park Rangers and staff at the Platt River Campground for your help with sightings.”
She continued: “It takes a village sometimes and the people in Benzie county came through. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
“Last but not least, I have one more big thank you, and that goes to the 20,000 people who viewed this post and the hundreds of people who shared it.
“Social media played a huge role in getting this story out, so to all of you I give you a big pat on back.”
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