Prince George County firefighter rescues pooch from freezing water

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It’s a news story that makes all of us thankful for our brave firefighters, as the Prince George Fire Department Company 30 assisted in rescuing a frozen dog and one fireman even planned to adopt the shivering senior Golden retriever if no owner claimed him.


The pup, dubbed River, was discovered less than a week ago near a creek, and it wasn’t long before firefighter Jesse McCullough was videoed making the dramatic rescue as he lowered himself down into the creek with a ladder – finding the frightened pup and saving his life.

Posted by Erica Hasan on Friday, December 15, 2017

As expected, the ten-year-old River was delighted to see McCullough and immediately started to wag his tail. Too cold to climb up the ladder himself,  firefighters joined in on the rescue and brought River to safety. The happy pup was then transported back to the firehouse, and after having feasted on chicken and warmed up, River fell asleep.

Posted by Erica Hasan on Friday, December 15, 2017

The dog did have a microchip, however it had never been registered. McCullough offered to adopt River if his owners did not claim him:

“UPDATE 12/17****no owner has come forward yet. The McCullough family is visiting the shelter today to introduce their children to him. Prayers that they are a good match,” posted Erica Hasan on her Facebook page after videoing the rescue of River.

Erica Hason has followed the progress of River, and on Tuesday, River’s owners had been located:

UPDATE 12/19/17**** three days after being found in the freezing rain in a creek, an “owner” has come forward and plans on picking up the golden on 12/22 from the shelter. I don’t know any details and I can’t speculate as to why it took so long and why they plan on waiting three more days to pick him up but I can only hope that the owners are ok. Whatever is going on in their lives that would cause them to wait so long to not only report him missing but to wait this long to go get him must be beyond their control. Pray for the owners and the dog. I’m happy he will be going back home. It’s bittersweet.”

Many thanks to our fine and brave firemen. You are our heroes and we appreciate your service.

(Photos and videos of dog rescued in Prince George County from Erica Hasan Facebook)

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7 replies
  1. Kate Sarginson says:

    My feeling is that SPCA should be investigating why this dog was left out in the cold, not looked for and why it is taking them 3 days to come and get him. I don’t think they are suitable owners for this dog. This should be followed up on by the police and SPCA.

    • Ann Dolak says:

      The owners may have been out of town& left dog wth a sitter who was NOT a responsible person, but they didnt know this.They may still be out of town & on their way babackThat would explain the 3 days.

  2. Ann Dolak says:

    The owners may have been out of town& left dog wth a sitter who was NOT a responsible person, but they didnt know this.They may still be out of town & on their way back.That would explain the 3 days.

    • Nancy Raymond says:

      Do you know this for a fact? IF they did leave their dog with a sitter why wouldn’t they check on the dog’s welfare? Being out of town is not an excuse – this poor dog could have died if not for the firefighters and Mr. McCullough. I kind of wish he had been able to adopt him.

  3. Karen Friedman says:

    Thank You firefighter Jesse McCullough for rescuing the 10 yr old SENIOR golden retriever, named River, from the freezing creek. I wish you & your family could have adopted this sweet dog. The owner doesn’t care nor have any feelings for River. He was rescued on the 15th, never even looked for, and then they chose not to pick River up until the 22nd!!!!!!!!!!! That’s 8 days after being rescued!!! Come on, what’s up with that decision. This person doesn’t deserve this lovely dog. The shelter should check to be sure these are suitable caring owners before releasing River to them.

  4. Helen says:

    I would want answers before releasing River to his owner. Why didn’t the owner registered the microchip? How did River wind up in the creek by himself collarless with no id? When did they noticed River was missing? Why did the owner take so long to claim River from the shelter? If I received answers that didn’t make sense, I would not return River. You don’t want a repeated incident. The owner is responsible to ensure River’s safety.

  5. Pamela Garlisch says:

    I agree with all of the above! And how did the dog act when and if they came to get him, was he happy to see them or not so much? You can tell a lot by body language.


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