Los Angeles Fire Department units set up multiple rescue points along the Los Angeles River after reports of a woman and her dog in the water near the Sepulveda Dam.
The 35-year-old woman rejected rescuers efforts, thinking only about her dog. Once she was rescued, her dog kept floating, swimming and fighting.
Rescuers scooped him up near Colfax more than two hours after dog and owner went in.
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Along the way a 28-year-old man tried to rescue the dog, but failed in the effort as the dog continued to fight.
Once the man was safe, firefighters continued to track the dog which continued down the river to an area deemed safe for a canine rescue.
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"We know that individual was well intentioned," said LAFD Capt. Eric Scott. "But when civilians jump in … they often become patients themselves."
Swift water crews harnessed the German shepherd mix near the CBS Studios in Studio City around 4 p.m.
A reunion for the dog, which was stressed and hypothermic, and its owner was in the works once the dog was checked out at the East Valley Animal Shelter. The dog's owner was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.
The dramatic scene prompted lookiloos to come out and see the action from street overpasses.