A loving dog trapped in a muddy pond in Tampa, Florida, was saved thanks to an observant child, brave rescuers, and a community effort.
A child out for a walk at the Lucy Dell Park noticed the entangled dog struggling to escape from floating vegetation and called animal control. The officers who arrived quickly realized they didn’t have the equipment or expertise to safely secure the dog.
That’s when they called for backup.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue arrived and worked with animal control to bring the stuck black dog to safety. They set up a cable from the boardwalk and lowered FireMedic 1 Gilbert “Gil” Navas into the shallow end of the pond.
Navas trekked through muddy water, picked up the dog, and steadily guided him back to the boardwalk. The rest of the crew then raised the dog onto solid ground with a sturdy net.
The Fire Rescue took the uninjured dog to a nearby veterinarian, where he was examined and cleared. Unfortunately, the dog, now named “Gil” after his brave rescuer, did not have a microchip — which could have helped rescuers locate his guardians.
Gil is currently being looked after at the Pet Resource Center, an open-admission animal shelter that’s waiting to see if someone comes forward as Gil’s guardian. If not, he will be put up for adoption with hopes of securing him a new and loving forever home.
Gil’s story demonstrates the importance of helping animals in distress but also of microchipping companion animals. In the unfortunate instance they get lost, authorities can quickly identify the guardian – leading to cheerful reunions like this one.