On May 26, 2011 the CCSPCA received a request for assistance from the Fresno Police Department regarding a Golden Retriever that was stuck in the canal at Blackstone and Shields. CCSPCA Dispatch issued a call over the radio for any available officer near that location.
Animal Control Officer Tracy Boyd was in the area of Saginaw and First and Officer Rudy Gonzalez was at McKinley and Fresno St. Both officers responded to the northwest corner of Blackstone and Shields after being informed that the dog had been swept into the tunnel that runs under that intersection.
The canal at Blackstone and Shields runs east to west on the south side of Shields. It then curves into a tunnel under the intersection at Blackstone, where it emerges on the northwest corner and continues northward.
The canal was full, leaving an approximate six-inch space between the water and the top of the tunnel. A concerned citizen was standing above the entry to the tunnel next to Denney’s. As the dog fought the current, its head would pop out from the darkness of the tunnel, and the Good Samaritan had made several attempts to grab the dog, though to no avail. The dog was approximately 15 feet out of reach.
By the time Officers Boyd and Gonzalez responded to the area, it was assumed that the Golden Retriever had already been swept under the street, and so they waited at the other end for the dog to come through.
Soon enough, however, the two Fresno Police Officers that were still at the southeast corner of the intersection called out to Officer Boyd and Gonzalez, as the Golden Retriever’s head once again popped back into view on that side.
Exhausted and cold, the Golden Retriever managed to continue its fight against the current. Officer Boyd rushed to the location where Fresno Police and the Good Samaritan were, as Officer Gonzalez drove his vehicle around to the location, so that they had access to their equipment.
As Officer Boyd attempted to lasso the dog, it disappeared into the tunnel once more. Just as it was thought that the dog had finally lost its battle against the current, its head poked out of the tunnel once more. With a skilled toss of his rope, Officer Boyd was able to snare the dog around its neck on a second try, enabling him to pull the dog out of the rushing waters and onto dry land. Both Police Officers asked if they would be able to adopt the dog if we were unable to find it a home. Shivering from the cold and worn out muscles, the Animal Control Officers dried the dog off before loading it into their vehicle and taking it to the CCSPCA George Whittell Small Animal Hospital where it received a checkup.
During the checkup a microchip was located, and the owner was contacted. The next day the owner of the Golden Retriever arrived to reclaim his dog. He explained to staff that the cable man was working in his yard, and had left the gate open. The dog lived just three blocks away from where it was found.
This is a common reason given to the CCSPCA as to why people’s dogs get out of their yard.
If there’s a moral of this story, it would be to make sure that your dog is properly secured when you know there will be people servicing your property. Whether it’s a pool man, gardener, PG&E worker, or the cable guy, make sure that your dog is legally tethered, locked in the house or placed in a kennel during the time frame that the service is scheduled to take place. Also, please ensure they wear current identification and are microchipped.