Once untied, the dog ran off. Coffman put out dog food and water; he was sure the dog must be hungry and terrified. He assumed the dog was injured. It took three more days for the dog to allow anyone to come close enough to rescue him.
"It was just a matter of time before a car would've ran him over. If he was mortally wounded he should pass away humanely not being tied up underwater or by a car tire," says Coffman. "That was truly my motivation."
The dog finally allowed himself to be caught. He was brought to Saipan Cares for Animals, a nonprofit that provides vet care and adoption services for the island's stray and mistreated animals. He was named for his rescuer: Gunner. (The different spelling was an accident, but has stuck.)
SCA's president, Beth Pliscou, says Gunner has a host of ailments, including mange and "rubbery bones" caused by malnutrition, that cause him not to stand straight.