Is anyone going to help this dog?
That's the desperate refrain arising from social media Tuesday, accompanying an image of what appears to be a dog curled up on a lone sheet of floating ice.
Véronique Descart submitted the photo to TVA, and the Quebec network featured the photo on their news broadcast. Descart posted the image on her Facebook page, on Saturday, and said it was taken on board the ferry near Sorel-Tracy, north of Montreal. She said they were in touch with the Coast Guard, but it only mounts rescues for people.
Diana Romanos, a Quebecer living in France, says she saw the image on the TVA news last night — and has been desperately trying to get the word out since via social media.
"He's been out there at least 48 hours. He won't last much longer," she told the Huffington Post.
The mayor of Sorel-Tracy issued a statement saying the city and fire department would try to help the dog if they had information on its current location. The city said no one has reported seeing the dog to local authorities.
"Maybe it's true," Louis Latraverse, communications director for the City of Sorel-Tracy, told the Huffington Post Canada. "But the only person who has seen the dog is the person who took the picture."
And furthermore, he says, the picture was taken on Saturday, suggesting a grim ending to this saga.
"If someone could tell us where the dog is, we could have done something about it."
The Canadian Coast Guard, which sends two helicopter patrols daily into the St. Lawrence to check on ice conditions, certainly hasn't seen the dog. And if it had been spotted, the agency wouldn't have been able to assist.
"It is not part of our mandate," explains Pascale Fortin, a communications adviser for the Coast Guard. "The logic behind that is that we put people at risk to save an animal.
Besides, she adds, parts of the St. Lawrence often inaccessible even to the agency's icebreakers.
A civilian-mounted rescue attempt would be even more dangerous.
Véronique Descart posted on Facebook that she has heard that people want to go out on the water to try to rescue the dog, but cautioned that the St. Lawrence is fast-moving and can be extremely dangerous.
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