LA River

Ruff Day. Firefighters Rescue Stranded Pup After Nearly 2 Hours in LA River

A man who jumped into the river to help the dog had to be rescued by firefighters who followed the dog during its journey in the San Fernando Valley.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Firefighters rescued a dog from the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley Monday after it had been stranded for nearly two hours in the chilly water after a morning of rainfall.

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.

The dog drifted downstream after rescuers first tried to rescue it and a woman on Monday. As the rescue mission for the dog ensued, a bystander went into the river himself to try and rescue the dog.

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.

Ever wonder how cats get rescued when stuck in tight spots? Who responds when a mountain lion is seen in a crawl space under a house? Or when a monitor lizard is on the roof of a house? Ride along with the Los Angeles Animal Rescue SMART Team, a group of highly trained individuals who specialize in rescuing animals from tough situations.
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