Ypsilanti Fire Department rescues dog from Huron River
The Ypsilanti Fire Department rescued a dog from the Huron River Tuesday afternoon after terrier mix got off of its leash and jumped into the river, then was tiring as it tried in vain to reach the shore.
Courtesy of Ypsilanti Fire Department
Firefighters received the call at 5:30 p.m. from the owner, who said he tried to call "Chi-chi" back to the shore for several minutes before calling 911.
The dog was in the water for nearly 45 minutes, treading water and trying to keep its head above water. The dog was unable to swim back to shore due to a significant amount of seaweed that was blocking her path.
When the team of five firefighters arrived at the 1000 block of Huron River Drive, they found the dog about 50 yards offshore and treading water in circles.
Firefighter Rodney Schroeder said he observed the dog’s movements becoming visibly slower.
“She had been out there for a long time and I don’t think she would have lasted much longer,” Schroeder said. “She was panicking because she was running out of energy.”
Schroeder entered the chest deep water and he also had difficulty moving through the mud and other debris in the water.
After putting on their ice rescue suits, firefighters tied a rope around Schroeder in order to ensure his safety.
“She was trying to get back to the shore and she was getting caught up on the seaweed and lilly pads,” Schroeder said. “I had a heck of a time and it was hard for me to get out there to her because she was swimming away from me.”
Schroeder said she started to move toward him and that’s when he was able to grab her.
“The mud and weeds were thick and I was a little winded, so they had to pull me back in,” he said. “It was a great feeling to be able to help an animal. That’s our job and it’s good to be able to do that. It was a group effort and the other guys did a great job.”
Schroeder said although she was visibly shaken, the dog was fine and didn’t require any medical assistance.
“The owner was very thankful," he said. "And we told him to try to keep her on the leash."
Katrease Stafford covers the city of Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at 734-623-2548 or at KatreaseStafford@annarbor.com. You can also follow her on Twitter.