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Fire crews rescue dog from swollen South Fork River

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

 

Lincoln County fire crews helped to rescue a dog Wednesday that had been stranded for more than day on the South Fork River during a time when heavy rain’s contributed to an increase in the river’s water levels.
According to a Denver Fire Department press release, crews spotted the abandoned dog on a “low head dam” in a “very hazardous” area along a walking trail on Laboratory Rd., located in the southern part of Lincolnton. The area, which parallels the river, authorities said, is a type of location often dubbed “a drowning machine.” Because of their tendency to churn water, such dams typically drown those who become entrapped in them, fire officials said.
Crews from both Denver and South Fork Fire Department worked together with Lincoln County Water Rescue Team to salvage the dog. The water team, comprised of county individuals from various emergency response agencies, is highly-trained for such rescue events, a release said.
In addition, Denver fire officials noted the intense nature of the rescue due to the river’s elevated levels and high-speed current.
It remains unclear as to both how the dog had been trapped and how long it had been stranded in the area, but witnesses told authorities it had been a least a day.
The dog, which sustained a head injury and possible hypothermia, was successfully rescued from the dam and treated at a local animal hospital and will be stationed at Lincoln County Animal Control headquarters until further notice, authorities said.
No word is available on the dog’s owner, and Animal Control officials are continuing to look into the incident.

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