Crews Rescue Dog Swept Away By LA River’s Rushing Waters
In what was a heart-stopping rescue, firefighters were able to save a large dog swept away by rain-inundated waters of the Los Angeles River on Monday afternoon.
Crews responded to a report of a dog and its owner in the waterway around 2 p.m. near the Sepulveda Dam. They were initially able to rescue the owner but couldn't hang onto the dog, which spent more than an hour drifting downstream — sometimes struggling to keep its head above water.
The heartstring-tugging saga took another turn when the canine ended up in the Studio City Area — where a good Samaritan jumped into the water to help. He had to be rescued himself after the dog came loose from his grip.
What felt like a never-ending odyssey finally came to an end when swift water teams finally caught up with the dog and pulled it to safety.
Margaret Stewart, with the L.A. Fire Department, said the frightened and exhausted dog kept trying to run away from its rescuers in shallower sections of the river.
"In the case with an animal, especially with a dog that size, that are scared and they're fighting, it obviously complicates the matter," Stewart said. "And especially in the areas where he was able to touch the ground, he was able to move away from the rescuers."
According to Stewart, the good Samaritan was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The dog's owner was uninjured.
As for the dog, it appeared to be unharmed when firefighters finally got its paws to shore.