Rescue Squad saves dog from Watauga River

Published 10:29 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

Though it wasn’t a typical rescue operation, personnel from the Carter County Rescue Squad were still happy they were able to save a life.

On Wednesday, the CCRS Technical Rescue Team received a call regarding a dog that had become stranded on a debris pile in the middle of the Watauga River.

CCRS Rescue Coordinator John Burleson said the fishermen found the dog stranded and reported the situation, unsure of whether or not the dog was injured. The dog was marooned on the debris pile in the lower portion of the Watauga River about 200 yards away from the Smalling Road bridge, according to Burleson.

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“We don’t know how long he had been out there,” Burleson said.

The crew took a boat out into the river and were able to bring the dog ashore safely.

“He was an older dog. He was very friendly,” Burleson said. “He was dehydrated pretty badly.”

Other than the dehydration, Burleson said the dog showed no other obvious signs of injury. He estimated the dog to be between 12 and 14 years old and said it was a Labrador mix with chocolate coloring.

The dog was wearing a color but no tags were visible. He said the animal did have a microchip or other type of electronic device.

The Rescue Squad notified Animal Control, who responded to the scene and took the animal to the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter to attempt to locate his owners.

If anyone knows who the dog belongs to they are asked to contact the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter at (423) 547-6359 or the Carter County Mayor’s Office at 423-542-1801.