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Firefighter lowered from helicopter for dog river rescue

The dog, dubbed "Lucky" by rescuers, had a collar and leash, but no identifying tags or a microchip.

By
Ben Hooper

BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles firefighter was lowered from a helicopter to scoop a distressed dog out of the Los Angeles River.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said the department received several calls Friday afternoon about a dog floating in the river near the Barham Boulevard overpass in Burbank.

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A helicopter team was dispatched and firefighter John Terrusa was lowered into the river, where he swam over to the dog and gathered it in his arms to be lifted back up to the chopper.

"As we were watching the dog one of the worst things was we kept seeing the dog submerge and then he'd pop back up. Each time he submerged we were worried he may not come up again," LAFD Capt. Scott Bowman told KABC-TV.

The dog, a chihuahua/corgi mix estimated to be about 7-years-old, had a collar and leash but no tags or a microchip. He was taken by park rangers to North Central Animal Shelter in Lincoln Heights.

The dog was nicknamed "Lucky" by his rescuers.

"Any life is precious and I know there is an owner out there that is absolutely totally distraught their dog is missing," Terrusa said.

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