Oregon Firefighters Go into Canal to Rescue Soaked and Stranded Dog

Photo: Lebanon Fire District

Lebanon firefighters and water rescue technicians rescued a stranded dog from the Albany-Lebanon canal behind the Lebanon Rite Aid store on Sunday evening. Citizens Lucas Kledzinski and Riley Swanson were walking by the canal when they noticed the dog stranded on a piling support of the railroad trestle between Main Street and Park Street. The Lebanon Police Department was called and contacted the fire district at 8:16 p.m.

Firefighters arrived shortly after and determined that personnel would need to enter the water to rescue the dog, who appeared to have an injured front leg. A rescue unit was dispatched so that firefighters could don protective dry suits, personal flotation devices, and helmets before entering the water. Two additional firefighters were staged on the canal bank beneath the Park Street bridge to act as downstream safeties in the event that a rescuer was carried downstream.

Lieutenant Michael Maynard and Engineer Corey Knipstein crossed the canal to reach the dog, who was cold and wet, but friendly. Maynard and Knipstein secured the dog with a webbing strap around its chest in the event that it broke free from their arms, and the dog was carried back to the shore and to a waiting Lebanon Police patrol car where it was scanned for a microchip (it did not have one) and transported to the River’s Edge Pet Medical Center for an evaluation. Fire crews were on scene for roughly 45 minutes for the rescue. The dog was a black mixed-breed and approximately 40-45 pounds. For more information on the dog please contact the Lebanon Police Department.

The Lebanon Fire District thanks Lucas and Riley for doing the right thing and notifying the proper authorities rather than attempting to rescue the dog themselves. Rivers and canals can appear slow moving and shallow but their beds can be deep with silt and debris which could easily trap a foot or leg and lead to a drowning. LFD advises people to never enter moving water without a properly fitting life jacket on. The Lebanon Fire District offers free same day loaner life jackets at three locations – Gills Landing, Waterloo Park North Boat Ramp, and Waterloo Park South Boat Ramp. Microchips can be safely placed in dogs and cats for less than $25 and are available at most veterinarian offices.

Pupdate: 6/14/2021 We have received word that the dog was picked up by his owners from the vet's office this afternoon. It sounds like they may have seen this post on social media, so a big thank you to all of our community members who shared this post and helped reunite this dog with his family!

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