Officer Rescues Dog from Chilly Clearwater River


A local animal control officer is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a dog in distress, but he credits bystanders for alerting him in the first place.

This Wednesday started out as any other day on patrol for Lewiston's animal control Officer Doug Willey.

Officer Doug Willey says, "Just driving on the levee here."

But this day by the river was about to be anything but ordinary.

Officer Willey says, "See some people on the road over by the wastewater treatment plant waving their arms at me."

They were yelling at him to look in the water.

Officer Willey describes what he saw, "He was in the water still but he was in the big rocks there and it wasn't coming out. He was really shivering."

Lying there struggling to get out of the chilly water was a young black dog. He was scared and exhausted and couldn't pull himself up onto the rocky bank.

Officer Willey says, "He swam across the river. Probably why he was so tired and cold."

Officer Willey was able to use a catch-pole to pull him to safety. "Probably this far and was able to guide him in."

Those good samaritans came across and helped Officer Willey warm up the dog, then took it to a local vet.

Officer Willey credits them for the river rescue. He says, " I wouldn't have seen it if they wouldn't have flagged, wouldn't have gotten my attention. I probably would have driven right by it."

For Willey, it was just another day on the job.

Officer Willey adds, "I did a good job of not falling in."

The dog was later returned to his owner, but Duke was one of two dogs to get loose from his owner. The second black lab has not been returned as of this time.

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