Former Mexican Cowboy Lassos Drowning Dogs, Saves Lives

Jesus Villanueva hadn't brought out a lasso since he worked in a cattle ranch in Jalisco, Mexico, 30 years ago. But you couldn't tell he...

Maria Goodavage  |  Sep 6th 2011

Farmworker Jesus Villanueva saved two dogs from drowning by using long-dormant lassoing skills (Photo: Andy Sawyer, <i>Yakima Herald-Republic</i>)” class=”size-full wp-image-39851″ title=”Screen shot 2011-09-05 at 9.31.13 PM” src=”” alt=”” width=”236″ height=”347″ /> </p>
<p>Jesus Villanueva hadn’t brought out a lasso since he worked in a cattle ranch in Jalisco, Mexico, 30 years ago. But you couldn’t tell he was out of practice when he took over a deputy’s failed attempts to rope two dogs being carried swiftly down a steep-banked concrete canal in Yakima, Wash.</p>
<p>He lassoed the dogs in rapid succession, hitting his mark both times and pulling them to safety within seconds of each other.</p>
<p>“I was amazed,” the dogs’ owner, Noya Deats, told the <a href=Yakima Herald-Republic. “He just kind of came out of nowhere. It was amazing how fast he lassoed them.”

The dogs, who ran into the water when Deats let them off-leash three miles down the canal, would not have lasted much longer, deputies say. The farm laborer heard the commotion and came running to see if he could help. All other attempts to save the dogs had failed, including when someone clung onto a canal ladder and tried to grab them as they whooshed by.

Deats is deeply grateful to Jalisco and his incredible skill with the lasso. I hope she gave the 54-year-old good Samaritan/angel some kind of reward, since farmworkers generally aren’t paid well. A story in the Yakima Herald-Republic says Villanueva’s reward is that “I felt happy, especially when I saw the woman who looked hot after running from far away.”

From now on, Deats will keep her dogs on-leash whenever they are anywhere near the canal.