Dog Rescue: Crews pull canine out of LA River

Crews with the Los Angeles Fire Department have safely pulled a dog named Scooby out of the Los Angles River in a dramatic rescue mission.

Earlier Monday afternoon, crews made multiple efforts to get the dog back to safety, with the first rescue call being made around 2:15 p.m. The dog's owner, a 35-year-old woman, has since been rescued.

Prior to pulling the dog out of the water and into safety in Studio City, crews were urging people in Los Angeles to stay away and do not attempt to save the dog. This comes after a 28-year-old male bystander had to be rescued himself after jumping into the water to try and save the canine.


A dog is at the center of a desperate rescue mission after they were swept away in the waters of LA River. (FOX 11)

Captain II Erik Scott from LAFD held a press conference following the rescue. Scott is now pleading the public to leave it to the pros when it comes to water rescues like the one that took place Monday.

"We know that individual was well-intentioned as well as other people are obviously very concerned about that canine, you better believe we are too. But when civilians jump in who don't have the proper personal protective equipment and training to effect a rescue, they often become patients themselves," Scott said.

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The dog bit the 28-year-old man and continued downstream as the 28-year-old man, who has not been identified, was rescued.

"The poor canine was very tired, very scared, and the more people were around, the more scared he got, and he did bite that well-intentioned 28-year-old male that was trying to help him, and that's another reason we don't want people jumping in for these canines because they're obviously scared," said Scott. 

The dog was eventually rescued from the LA River in what was believed to be a 2.5-hour rescue mission. 

"A lot of people love their animals and we do too but if you do something that's going to cause yourself danger, the Fire Department is going to go to the people first, and animal second. It's just human safety first," said Officer Armando Navarrete. 

The dog was transported to the East Valley Animal Shelter where he was evaluated. He is a German Shepherd mix, and his age is unknown at this time. 

Officials with LA Animal Services said Scooby had a light abrasion on his paws and other than that, was completely fine. 


(L.A. Animal Services SMART)

He was reunited with his family on Monday night. 

Los Angeles City Fire officials said they are not able to confirm if the woman, the dog's owner, is unhoused.


Prior to Scooby's rescue, LAFD said a rope system was used earlier to lower a firefighter over the edge, where the dog's owner was able to get hold of a rescue ring. However, authorities said the woman abandoned the life ring so she could hang on to her dog. 

A rescuer was then lowered from the helicopter and was able to secure the woman; however, the dog fought the rescuer and broke loose. 

That's when a bystander jumped into the river and got ahold of the dog for around 15 minutes. However, the dog slipped away continued to travel down with the current.

The rescue mission ended with two people – the woman and the man who jumped into the water – and the dog being saved from danger.

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