River Rescue of DogLast Friday, an amazing rescue of a dog trapped in the flooded Los Angeles River had people transfixed as it was broadcast live. People watched as firefighters tossed flotation devices which proved useless, watch as the dog attempted to scale the steep side only to slide back down again until finally a firefighter was lowered down to rescue the dog. Mission accomplished, dog save, fireman slightly injured because the dog was terrified. Basically a happy ending all around.

This was wonderful, the scared stranded dog, the heroic firemen doing everything they could to rescue “man’s best friend” from what would have been a sure death yet there are people who criticize. Hailed as heroes by most everyone, there have been reports that “they have also been vilified by a few in blogs, on social networks and story comment sections. “

Sad, just sad!

Saving a German shepherd stuck in the rising Los Angeles River was the right thing to do, the risks were slight, rescue crews were on standby, extra taxpayer money wasn’t used and the alternatives were unacceptable, authorities said

amazing river rescue“You’re not going to please everybody. There’s always 10 percent, they either don’t like animals or think we are wasting taxpayer money,” Capt. Steve Ruda said.

“About an eighth of a mile downstream from the rescue site, the water was much deeper and the current much faster, Reyes said.

The dog would have drifted on down and died. Do you just wait at the mouth of the river and wait for the carcass? Any way you slice it, that is unacceptable. They would not have been able to live that down,” Capt. Aaron Reyes, director of operations for the SAACA shelter said. “They made a decision and we support that decision.”

Well, I for one, applaud these amazing heroes for going the extra distance to save what some would call “just a dog” and I am quite sure that Vernon, as the dog has been named is pretty grateful to be alive too!

The firefighter who actually went into the river to pluck Vernon out, Joe St. Georges, 50, the 25-year firefighting veteran, was injured when the dog bit him during the rescue and is recovering.

“I knew the dog was scared and tired. It’s not too surprising that it was really upset with this big, loud noisy thing blowing all over it,” St. Georges, said. “And then some guy comes and jumps on its back — what a surprise the dog bit me.”

As for Vernon, no owner has come forward yet although there have been about 1000 offers to adopt him, he’s doing well, basking in the attention and has turned out to be a real lover.

You watch the video below, a newscast from the Friday, 1/22 which includes footage of the actual rescue and you tell me what you think. Does the LAFD deserve criticism or kudoes? Need I even ask? 🙂

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And a great big thank you to the LA Fire Department and Joe St. Georges, who know that all life is important and a dog is more than “just a dog!”

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