‘Turbulent’ currents push dog down river before harrowing rescue in NC, shelter says

Screengrab from Asheville Humane Society on Facebook

A “scruffy” dog fell into a raging river and started slipping below the surface, leading to a harrowing rescue in North Carolina, officials said.

On Jan. 9, two women reportedly were near the French Broad River when a scared dog ran past them and “tumbled into” the water.

“It had stormed the previous day, so the river level was high with powerful currents,” Becky Doty, an Asheville animal control officer, said Jan. 21 in a Facebook post. “The water was freezing.”

Soon after the dog slipped in, the “turbulent” water swept him down the river. That’s when the two bystanders jumped into action, calling Asheville Animal Services for help.

“But within minutes the miniature poodle mix began to go under the water,” the Asheville Humane Society wrote. “One of the women quickly dove into the river to pull him out.”

The dog was OK and ended up at the Humane Society, which named him Riu. After the shelter gave him a medical evaluation, he was on his way to a foster home.

Though Riu was “traumatized and shaking with fright,” he eventually settled into his new home, playing fetch and tug-of-war. As he waits to go up for adoption, the tale of his rescue — and his adorable photos — have caught the attention of social media users.

“Thank you for your willingness to jump into the river to save him,” one person commented on the Asheville Humane Society’s Facebook page. “You are a hero of the major kind.”

“What a tough fearless woman and a tough little dog,” another person commented on the Facebook post, which garnered more than 1,000 reactions and over 100 comments in less than a week.

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