On the afternoon of December 10th, we received a call about a shepherd dog that was stuck across the Wallace River in Sultan, WA. The dog was stranded in an area of the river with a high embankment of dense brush as well as approximately 40 feet of thick blackberry bushes behind the location. He was unable to swim back across the river or to climb out of his position to dry land.
WASART’s Water Rescue Team (WRT), Technical Rescue Team (TRT), as well as Base and Operations Support arrived on scene and assessed the situation. Our plan was to paddle upstream of the dog, strategically maneuver to his location, and carefully help him into the raft. Three members of the Technical Rescue Team would remain on the near side shore ready with throw bags as down river safeties. A safety briefing was held, the intended course of action discussed, and the rescue commenced.
We launched our raft with four members of the Water Rescue Team onboard and paddled upstream of the dog’s location. Two members of the WRT were let out of the raft, each with rope bags, on a sand and rock embankment shortly upstream of the dog. Once these team members and their ropes were ready, they carefully lowered the raft downriver using ropes to control its mobility until we arrived at the dog’s location.
As we reached the dog, he appeared cold and wet but otherwise okay. We placed him in our raft and secured him for the trip across the river. We then traversed the river to the near shore where the TRT and base ops were ready to receive him. The dog was readily taking treats, pets, and praise on scene.
The reporting person kindly took responsibility for him in hopes of finding his owner. He was reunited with his owner on Sunday morning.
Congratulations to our Water Rescue Team on their inaugural deployment. Their dedication to water rescue training and safety made this rescue possible.
We are glad to have been able to help this dog get safely to dry land and reunited with his owner. Thank you to the reporting person for calling for help and taking him into your care after the rescue until he could be returned to his owner. Thanks also to our volunteer members for their time and experience to help an animal in need.
WASART is an all-volunteer organization and we are appreciative of all donations to help support rescues like this. Our services are available at no cost for animals when they need help. For more information about us or to make a donation, visit www.wasart.org.