If you ever needed an inspiring story about a truly modest hero to start your day, then you are urged read about the Tonawanda resident Jim Skoney. The local resident had been driving in town when he noticed three cars parked along the creek with people standing on the edge of the freezing water. Jim stopped to see what was going on, and that was when he spotted a small dog in the creek, furiously paddling and barely able to keep his head above the water.
According to the SPCA Serving Erie County NY, Jim immediately laid down on the steep bank of the creek as another person held tightly onto Jim’s legs so he didn’t fall into the water. The current was strong, and as the dog fought against it and tried to swim in the direction of the human calling out to him, he kept going underwater and losing strength.
I called to him and he suddenly turned his head and tried swimming against the current. He made every attempt to stay above water, swimming in my direction, but he was repeatedly going underwater and rapidly losing energy.Jim Skoney on FB
With one last brave attempt and extended reach, Jim was able to grab the dog by his neck and pull him back to the shore. Once safely on dry land, he wrapped the dog in his coat to keep him warm and brought him back to his vehicle where he turned the heat on full blast. Jim knew the dog needed to get to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
When one local veterinarian refused to treat the dog because there was no owner to pay the bill, Jim brought the dog to the SPCA Serving Erie County where he was treated, and his owner was also found.
The dog named Rufus had escaped from the fence in his own backyard after the blizzard, and although wood had been used to patch the hole and keep Rufus from escaping, the wood had fallen away and Rufus – 18-years-old, deaf and blind slipped out and accidentally fell into the creek.
Rufus is back home – toasty warm and all thanks to this unsung hero, Jim, who, when asked about his truly heroic and compassionate deed said he did “what anyone would have done.”
…Jim’s heroic effort and the SPCA veterinary team’s diligent work. This display of compassion would in no way be possible if not for Jim’s bravery.SPCA Serving Erie County NY
To donate to his fine organization, please click here.