A bridge inspector lifted a dog to safety Sunday after the pooch found itself stranded on bridge 120 feet above the Mississippi River.
Bridge-design company Stantec posted video of the daring rescue, showing the moment one its inspectors passed the dog to a police officer after plucking it from the edge of the U.S. Route 84 bridge in Natchez, Mississippi.
The westbound route connects Natchez and Vidalia, Louisiana.
Crews were working on the bridge when inspector Craig Jenkins spotted the “hound dog” just below the bridge deck, the company said on Instagram. That’s when lead climber and rescue technician Ryan Nataluk called police before working his way to the “distressed” pup.
Nataluk made sure the dog wasn’t injured before using a makeshift harness made of rope to lift it to safety — all while balancing high above the Mississippi River, video shows.
“No one is sure how she ended up down there, but this heartwarming rescue story proves that not all heroes wear capes,” Stantec said.
A Natchez Police Department officer took the dog into his care for evaluation, according to WLBT.
By Wednesday afternoon, the hound dog had a new owner and a new name, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong told McClatchy News.
“She’s glad to have a home and probably very fortunate to be alive,” Armstrong said, adding that the animal was a bit skiddish but in good spirits. “I think Lucky ought to be her new name. Nevertheless, her new owner, a young man is going to name her ‘Bridge’ or ‘Bridgette.’ “
The police chief said the dog is fairly young, probably no older than 3 years old.
Law enforcement officials have a few theories about how she ended up so high on the bridge. Armstrong said officers initially figured the dog had jumped off the back of a truck but noted a concrete barrier on the bridge would’ve prevented her from falling over.
Then they landed on a second, more disturbing idea: someone intentionally threw her over and she was lucky to land on the bridge deck instead of in the Mississippi River.
Armstrong said inspectors had to do some “risking maneuvering” to get the dog off the ledge, adding that he was grateful for a safe rescue.
“There’s some construction work taking place on this bridge, so the workers were already out there with their harnesses and all the things they needed to bring this dog to safety,” he told McClatchy News. “They sprung into action.”