German Shepherd Rescued from Riverside Canal

The 5-year-old Shepherd was stuck in a section of the Gage Canal.

A German Shepherd who took a dip in a Riverside canal was rescued Wednesday after he became stuck in the narrow waterway.

Riverside County Animal Services officers responded to a call shortly after 2 p.m. from passersby who found the dog, a 5-year-old Shepherd mix named Max, standing up to his neck in water in the Gage Canal and were unable to help him climb out.

After unsuccessful attempts were made to retrieve the dog with a piece of rope and wood, Animal Services Officer Dylan Gates arrived at the section of canal near Bradley and Grace streets south of Highway 91 and made the rescue.

"I just grabbed the dog with one of my catch poles and I just yanked him out of the water," Gates said in a YouTube video the agency released after the rescue. "After I got him out of the water he was the happiest dog he could be."

It was not immediately clear how long Max had been in the water, but Animal Services officers believe the dog may have escaped from his home after being scared by thunderstorms during the night and likely ended up in the canal by accident.

Though the Gage Canal is only a few feet wide, the walls are steep and often slick, and this is not the first time officers have had to rescue an animal stuck in the waterway, according to Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.

"We’ve pulled animals out of the canals before, including deer," Welsh said. "Once you get in, it’s hard to get out."

Animal Services used Max's microchip to reunite him with his owner Wednesday evening.

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