Animal Services Officers Share Helmet Camera Video Rescuing Dog Out Of LA River

A woman and her dog became trapped in the rain-swollen Los Angeles River on Monday, and while the woman was quickly brought to safety, the frightened dog broke free and waded into the rushing river, sparking an effort dramatic rescue of almost 90 minutes.



The Los Angeles Fire Department reported that the woman and dog were seen in the water near Sepulveda Dam just before 2:15 p.m., according to the department’s Margaret Stewart.

Crews managed to save the woman at around 2.40pm, but the dog made her way through the water, alternately walking and swimming in the rushing river, unable to reach dry ground.

Rescue teams organized at various locations along the river, but the dog was pushed by the rushing river downstream from Studio City.

At one point, a 29-year-old man jumped into the water and managed to grab the dog and cling to the north side of the river. The LAFD lowered a member of the Swiftwater Rescue Team into the water, but as he approached the man and dog, the animal broke free and was pushed in again. downstream.

The man who jumped into the river to grab the dog was then hoisted to safety and taken to hospital for treatment for a bite from the dog he was trying to save.

Dog rescued from LA River
Scooby, after being rescued from the fast-moving Los Angeles River in Studio City, Calif., on March 28, 2022.

(LA Animal Services)

“I was trying to save the dog,” the man told CBSLA. “I got him. He bit me on the hand, then when the helicopter came he got scared and he slipped out of my arms.”

The dog continued downriver, eventually reaching relatively high ground in Studio City in the Gilligan’s Island Road area near CBS Studios.

At that time, four members of a swiftwater rescue team were able to walk into the river towards the animal. The dog attempted to turn and run against the current away from the rescuers, but fell to the bottom of the river and drifted towards the crew, who managed to place a leash on the animal and put it in security just before 4:05 p.m.

The dog’s owner was taken to hospital where she was being treated for abrasions and assessed for water and cold issues, although she is expected to be fine.

LA Animal Services took in the dog, named Scooby, a healthy male German Shepherd mix. Scooby was taken to East Valley Animal Shelter to be evaluated by a veterinarian. He had minor abrasions on his legs. He was later reunited with his family, LA Animal Services reported late Monday night.

“After everything he’s been through, he was still quite energetic, quite bright, alert and responsive. So ultimately that’s all that really matters,” Vanessa Flores of Animal Services said during a press conference after the rescue.

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Jennifer R. Strohm