When a dog is in danger, most people want to come to the rescue. But in some scenarios, saving the dog only puts both of you at risk. During water rescues, officials urge the public to call for help instead of attempting the rescue themselves.
A dog got swept away by the rushing waters of the Los Angeles River, which put two people in danger as a result. It took at least two hours, but the fire department was able to save the dog and all the humans involved.
Dog in Distress
It’s unclear how it happened, but the Los Angeles Fire Department received several reports of a woman and her dog trapped in the river. The dog had likely fallen in, so his owner went in after him. The dog’s owner, a 35-year-old woman, was rescued within a half hour, but the dog was reluctant to receive help.
As fire crews were trying to save the pooch, a man jumped into the water after the dog. He didn’t know the dog, but he wanted to help in any way possible. Unfortunately, the pup was so scared that he bit the man trying to rescue him. So, the man was forced to let go of the dog, sending the pup further down the river.
Since the man was now in danger, rescuers had to focus on saving him before returning to the dog. Even though the man had good intentions, he ended up becoming another victim who needed saving. Rescuers were able to lift the man to the shore using a helicopter.
“We know that individual was well-intentioned as well as other people are obviously very concerned about that canine, you better believe we are too. But when civilians jump in who don’t have the proper personal protective equipment and training to effect a rescue, they often become patients themselves,” said Captain II Erik Scott.
Hours of Hard Work
Once the man was safe, firefighters returned to helping the dog. No matter how many times they tried to save the dog, the pup always fought back out of fear. The rescue team explained that issues like that are common when saving dogs, which makes it harder for them to help.
“The poor canine was very tired, very scared, and the more people were around, the more scared he got, and he did bite that well-intentioned 28-year-old male that was trying to help him, and that’s another reason we don’t want people jumping in for these canines because they’re obviously scared,” said Scott.
Firefighters refused to give up. After about two hours of trying to save the dog, they finally pulled him to safety. While incredibly anxious, the dog was unharmed. His owner was also okay, but the man who jumped in had to go to the hospital for minor injuries.
Keeping your dog away from fast-moving water is the best way to protect them, but if they happen to fall in, the best thing you can do is call for help. It’s tempting to jump in after them, but that could delay the rescue process because officials need to rescue humans before dogs in situations like this. So, keep that in mind if you and your pup are ever faced with a stressful situation like this one.