In Denver, Colorado a 911 dispatcher told a caller they didn’t handle animal rescues, and told the woman to hang up and try dialing 311. Meanwhile, the frantic witness, Jenny Benz wanted to help a dog after it fell into the freezing water at Wash Park pond and nearly drowned.
“I call 911 and my first response from them was, ‘We don’t handle animal calls,'” stated Jenny. “And I said, ‘Well, I think Fire handles animal calls.”
The near tragedy occurred on Friday afternoon when the pooch named Francis hightailed it out to the park pond in pursuit of some ducks. It wasn’t long before the dog fell through the ice. According to KhouNews, after calling 311, Jenny was told to call a park ranger, but since the park ranger would likely not respond, she was instructed to leave a voicemail.
“I was scared. I mean, we’re watching all this and I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help this poor animal. I didn’t want to be watching a dog die while someone decided who the right person to call would be,” Jenny said.
Luckily another person was able to get in touch with the fire department who quickly came out to rescue shivering Francis. Within minutes, the dog was safely in the rescuer’s raft. Francis is expected to make a full recovery.
As to the situation, both the Denver police and the fire department, have explained the dispatcher likely was not familiar with the protocol or the rules for saving an animal in an emergency situation. Many animal lovers would risk their own lives to save a pet – tragically a young man in Oklahoma died trying to save his dog from an icy pond. Read about that tragic story here.
Please be reminded that leash laws are made to protect dogs and people. Obey the law and maybe even save your beloved pooch’s life one day (or your own) just by being careful. Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.
(Photo of dog nearly drowned screenshot via Dan Berman)