February 13, 2013

Rescuer wades into Maine river to save stranded dog


PHILLIPS – Emergency responders saved a dog stranded on a chunk of ice Wednesday morning in the Sandy River after a child's cry for help alerted a neighbor.

Animal control officer Josh Bachelder said after he arrived at the river, he decided to tie a rope around himself and wade into the icy water near the bridge on Pleasant Street while firefighters held the rope.

"It was the only thing I knew to do," he said.

He said he walked about 15 feet into the waist-deep water and used a 5-foot-long catch pole to reach the rest of the way to snare the mixed-breed dog, which he said was calm during the rescue.

Bachelder, who also works for the Phillips Fire Department, originally was called to the scene as a firefighter after a neighbor heard a child calling for help from the river.

While heading to the river, Bachelder received another call saying he was now needed as an animal control officer because the child was not trapped and a dog was stranded. Bachelder arrived about 10:30 a.m. along with members of the fire department and two sheriff's deputies.

Deputy Nathan Reid said the rescue took about 15 minutes. The dog was returned to the boy, who Bachelder would not name. Reid said officials are not sure why the boy was not in school at the time.


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