This past Monday afternoon, a German Shepherd named Scooby was accidentally swept up in the fast-moving currents of the Los Angeles River near Sherman Oaks. The dog was caught in the swift waters for nearly two hours. Scooby's owner initially tried to rescue the dog but was knocked off her feet and caught in the current as well. Firefighters arrived on the scene and successfully got a rescue ring to the woman, but she refused it in order to stay with her dog.
After this failed attempt, fire crews used a rope system and lowered one firefighter down into the river, rescuing the woman. The dog, however, remained in the water. An attempt was made by fire crews to retrieve Scooby from the river but the dog fought off the rescuer and continued downstream.
About 30-40 minutes later, a hopeful bystander jumped into the river to save the frightened pup. Other bystanders were able to lower a rope to the man not long after, but when firefighters hoisted him up the dog became loose and again was caught up in the river's currents. Both the dog's owner and the gung-ho bystander were treated for injuries, including dog bite wounds. The LA fire department issued a statement warning citizens to avoid attempts at rescue:
Eventually, after 2 long hours, the dog was corralled by several firefighters in an area where the river thinned and flattened out. The LAFD sent a reminder to everyone that just 6 inches of fast-moving can knock a human off their feet.
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Thankfully, this story had a happy ending, and Scooby is recovering and reunited with his owner. But this serves as such an important reminder to always be vigilant when your dogs are near any sort of body of water.