Police See Animal Drowning In Canal And Make A Split-Second Decision

"[I]t didn't seem like he could swim for much longer ..."

Meet Sarge — a senior rescue dog whose lifelong love for adventure sometimes leads to trouble. Sarge's usually able to escape tricky situations on his own, but he recently got trapped in a canal and needed all the help he could get.

When Lighthouse Point Police Department (LHPPD) received a call about a dog struggling to swim in the canal, Officers Sara Gianino and Allyson Steinkamp rushed to the scene. After circling around for a few minutes, they finally spotted the distressed pup.

Lighthouse Point Police Department

“He couldn’t get out because the sea wall was so high and the tide was so low,” Officer Sara Gianino told The Dodo. “And it didn’t seem like he could swim for much longer.”

The officers quickly looked for a spot along the perimeter of the canal to stand on, but they couldn’t find anything stable enough to support them. Running out of time, they chose the only option available.

“It was determined that a broken dock would allow her the best chance to get the pup out of the water,” LHPPD wrote on Facebook.

You can watch the harrowing rescue here:

The officers navigated down the broken dock and then made a split-second decision.

“We just took off our gear and we jumped in to save him,” Gianino said.

Gianino jumped in first and attempted to lift the dog up to her partner on the dock. As she was doing so, an unsuspecting family happened to sail by on their boat. One of the members, Charles King, saw the situation unfolding and immediately jumped into the water to help.

King and Gianino grabbed Sarge and swam with him to the dock. They worked together to lift the 80-pound pup out of the water while Steinkamp, who was balanced on the broken dock, reached out for him.

Luckily, Steinkamp was able to grab Sarge’s collar and pull him up to her. Sarge’s tail started wagging as soon as his paws touched the dock, thrilled to finally be safe. Steinkamp greeted Sarge with a few gentle pats on his back, letting him know that everything was going to be OK.

“He was so happy to be out,” Gianino said. “He was super cheerful.”

Sarge was promptly reunited with his mom, Alex Griffin, and his “girlfriend,” Jenny.

Thankfully, the adventure-loving pup is now safe at home, chewing on his favorite toys and taking naps with his family again. And his humans are keeping an extra-close eye on him from now on to make sure he doesn’t get into hot water again.