Video Shows Guy Rushing To Save Dog Whose Leash Got Trapped In Elevator

"Dogs are family. I know what that means." 

Returning home to his apartment building in Texas after work, Johnny Mathis had no idea that in an instant he’d be called upon to save a life.

But thanks to his heroic actions, that’s exactly what he did.

"It just happened so quick," Mathis told The Dodo.

Johnny Mathis

Moments after stepping out of the elevator from the underground garage to the first floor where he lives, Mathis noticed a new neighbor waiting to enter with her dog on a long leash. Then the unthinkable happened.

The neighbor stepped inside without realizing her dog hadn’t followed her. The door closed, trapping the dog outside still tethered to the leash.

“I just happened to see at the last second,” Mathis told The Dodo. “I said, ‘Hey! Your dog!’” But by then it was too late.

As the elevator began to rise, Mathis leapt into action — unbuckling the dog's collar from the leash moments before tragedy would have struck.

The dog was saved, unaware how close she'd come to death.

"The whole time, I could hear the owner just screaming," Mathis said. "When she came back down, she was just bawling her eyes out. She was really, really shaken up. She hugged me. She was just so thankful."

Mathis said someone else was in the elevator with their floor selected when the dog's owner entered, so she had little time to stop the carriage after realizing the dog wasn't inside. That, along with being new to an elevator-equipped building as a pet owner, likely contributed to that near-fatal error.

Fortunately, her new neighbor was there to help.

"She loves the dog a lot. It’s just one of those things. It took just a second," Mathis said. "I’m thankful I did not freeze up. I’m glad I reacted, and I’m glad that dog survived. Dogs are family. I know what that means."