When a pit bull somehow became stranded on logs and other debris in the middle of the South Fork of the Catawba River Friday, police who responded knew it was too far out to be saved except by boat.
So Steven Rector, an animal care and enforcement specialist with the Gaston County Police, went home and got his personal canoe.
Despite a steady rain and generally poor weather, Rector and fellow Specialist Joseph Toney paddled onto the river and approached the dog. It was on debris against an Interstate 85 bridge support off Willow Drive in Lowell.
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“The dog was in obvious fear and was aggressive with the specialists during the initial contact,” police said in a statement Saturday.
But Rector was able to secure the dog, while Toney maintained the balance of the canoe. All three returned safely to shore.
“Specialist Toney and Specialist Rector placed themselves at considerable risk in their efforts to save this dog,” the police statement said.
The dog was uninjured and was placed into the Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Shelter, its owner unknown.
Anyone who knows the owner is encouraged to call Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement at 704-866-3320.