A dog was rescued from the Cowichan River by search and rescue crews Wednesday morning.
Cowichan Search and Rescue crews were called out to the Cowichan River near Boys Road and Trans-Canada Highway at around 9:30 a.m. morning after receiving a call from the RCMP about a stranded dog.
Trevor Paterson, surf water team leader with the Cowichan SAR, said a black dog was stranded on an island in the middle of the river about 1.5 kilometres east of the Silver Bridge. He said the RCMP contacted them to rescue the dog.
“The RCMP was concerned that the dog’s owner or some passerby might go in and try and rescue the dog and get themselves in trouble,” he said.
Paterson said the rescue was fairly straightforward. He said the dog’s owner was nearby and that the dog was well-trained, making the rescue easier than it was.
“Once we had all our team on-site, we were in the water at the dog and back out of the water in 10 to 12 minutes. It was a pretty simple operation for us,” said Paterson.
“It was a well-trained dog and the owner was able to get to stay and not try and stay and cross the river.”
Paterson said the dog had hip issues and might not have made it to safety had it entered the water.
“The fear was if it tried to swim, it would not make it,” he said.
Water levels in that area of the Cowichan River are relatively low for this time of year, but the dog was stranded in an area where the water was higher, according to Paterson.
“Because of the island, the water went into a smaller channel which speeds up the volume of the water,” he said.
Paterson said it’s extremely unusual for Cowichan SAR to be called in to rescue a dog. He said they only do it if the RCMP request their assistance.
“Getting called to rescue a dog is very unusual,” he said. “We don’t usually do it. It’s only if the RCMP figure that it could cause danger to a human in some way, which in this case, they felt it could.”
In the end, the dog was rescued safely and everyone went home happy, said Paterson.
“It all worked out very well,” he said.