Historic rains in Los Angeles this week has led to catastrophic flash and urban flooding in the area and over 14 million people are in a high risk area for continued flooding. On Monday a dog owner jumped into the rain overflowing Pacoima Wash in the Sylmar area after his dog was trapped in the tributary.
The man himself had to be rescued himself by Los Angeles Fire Department crews.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the man was seen jumping into the water after his dog and crews located the dog a short time later. Fire officials said the animal had managed to swim to the river’s edge to safety.
The man was also spotted, and a swift-water rescue team member was lowered into the water. The rescuer was able to grab the man, and both were hoisted out of the water by a helicopter, fire officials said.
I can't even imagine how terrified this owner was seeing his dog in the overflowing water, and to go in after his dog is just such a testament of the love most of us have for our pups. According to the article, after the water rescue team saved the man he was taken to a local hospital and his dog was taken to a local animal shelter to get minor injuries treated. Thank goodness they were both okay.
Here's Why You Should Never Attempt to Rescue a Drowning Dog Yourself
Attempting to rescue a drowning dog can be extremely dangerous for both the dog and the person attempting the rescue. Dogs may become extremely frightened in these situations and struggle in the water, increasing the chance of both you and the dog drowning.
Water conditions, like in the case of these horrible flash floods, can cause things such as strong currents, undertows, or murky water, and can make it difficult to locate and safely rescue a drowning dog. Especially one that is panicking. When a human tries to swim against these strong currents, they can also quickly become exhausted and in danger of going under.
The most important thing you can do if your dog is drowning, or you see another dog drowning, is try and remain calm. Immediately call emergency services or animal control to report the situation and seek help from the professionals who are trained to know what to do in these situations.
You can attempt to find something on shore to help the dog, like a flotation device, stick or something else for them to grab onto while you try and coax the dog to swim to safety.
If you do manage to get the dog out before rescue crews arrive, once the dog is safely out of the water, provide any necessary first aid like dog CPR or comfort while waiting for professional help to arrive.
The most important thing is keeping both you, and the dog, safe.
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