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Animal Control Officer Gets Great Help from Locals

A Riverside tire shop crew played a major role in helping an animal control officer save a dog from drowning on a rainy day earlier this week (Monday Feb. 27).

A crew member at CT (Cali Touch) Motorsports contacted Riverside County Animal Services after school children told them that a small dog slipped down a storm drain into a deep wash at the corner of Cypress Avenue and Wohlstetter Street.

Officer John Hergendreder arrived and immediately realized the situation was a tough one. The female Chihuahua was trapped on an island of debris inside the storm channel, but both sides of the wash had high safety fences. The walls of the wash were about 15 feet high and did not feature concrete ramps that would give him an easier way to reach the dog.

Officer Hergenreder improvised. He grabbed a cat carrier and a rope and devised a pulley system. He placed some food in the cat carrier with the intent to entice the tan puppy into the carrier and shut the door. But the fast- thinking plan startled the dog and she plunged into the swift water.

The dog drifted under Cypress Avenue and toward the north side of the street, immediately next to CT Motorsports. Officer Hergenreder tried using his lariat to pull the dog out, but was unsuccessful. The crew members at CT Motorsports came to his aid with a ladder.

For some brief moments, the puppy clung to the ladder. While the officer tried to rope the dog, she fell off the ladder and floated toward a middle section of the wash. She swam a little, but appeared to be exhausted. The CT crew grabbed a much larger ladder and one of their friends – Juan Rodarte (a construction worker who had the day off due to the stormy weather) – ended up being the hero of the day.

As his buddies secured the extension ladder, Mr. Rodarte climbed down and used the officer’s rope to finally secure the pup. He handed the dog off and Officer Hergenreder rushed the dog to the shelter in Jurupa Valley. It was there his Veterinary Services Division colleagues quickly treated the dog for hypothermia. She appears to be in good health and will soon be placed for adoption.

Officer Hergenreder said he was humbled by the unselfish work of the CT crew and the construction worker. He also praised them for helping save a dog’s life. A short video is now on YouTube that features some of the CT Motorsports employees speaking about the incident. Here’s a link:

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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