ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — With the weather warming up, crews are responding to more water rescue situations. However, on Wednesday evening, Rockbridge County first responders found themselves diving into a river to save a pet rather than a person.
The Glasgow Volunteer Fie Department says a call came in on Wednesday, June 1 about a dog stranded on some rocks near the confluence of the James River and Maury River. The chief arrived on the scene and decided to bring out the department’s Special Operations personnel.
According to officials, the 11-year-old dog, ‘Bear,’ appeared to be very stressed and exhausted. In order to avoid scaring him back into the water — which was still pretty high due to the recent rains — technicians decided to swim to Bear.
The department says the swimmers successfully reached the dog, secured him in a canine personal flotation device, and moved him to a better location. Then, they used the Oceanid paddle craft was to bring Bear back to shore.
“I’m sure some of you wonder why such a high risk for a canine, but here every life matters and to a lot of us, pets are like our children. Over the past few years we’ve been called to help other animals that have found themselves in tight and treacherous situations involving water and other unforgiving environments,” the Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department wrote on Facebook on Thursday, June 2. “Recently 6 of our technicians completed an Animal Swiftwater Rescue Class to handle situations such as these and it’s proving its worth.”