This rescue of a dog who was unable to escape from the Los Angeles River (a usually dry flood control channel) today is an uplifting way for us to end a week loaded with heavy stories.
We applaud the Los Angeles Fire Department, and especially firefighter Joe St. Georges, who would not take “no” for an answer — even after he was bitten on his hand and arm multiple times by the frightened dog — for this feat of strength and determination. It’s not every fire department that will go to such efforts for a non-human animal. (The dog had run away from earlier attempts to get him by foot.)
St. Georges, 50, was treated at a nearby hospital and released. He has no hard feelings about his bite wounds.
“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,” he told Fox News. “And then some guy comes and jumps on its back what a surprise the dog bit me.”
The dog is doing fine. It’s not clear how he got into the river, but it’s certainly clear how he got out. Vets say he’s in good shape, and that he appears to come from a home where people took care of him. They’re waiting for his owners to claim him. Otherwise he’ll be up for adoption in 10 days. Already 100 people have lined up to adopt him.
Here’s a KTLA TV report that shows the dog’s plight from early on, from a news chopper vantage point, and gives more details of the story.