Riverside Public Works Employees Played Huge Roles
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2017 – Riverside Public Works employees played a major role in saving a dog stuck in a basin at the city’s Water Quality Control Plant on Acorn Street. The dog, a female German-shepherd, pit bull mix, appeared to be frightened as she moved around, seeking some way out of her wet and stinky mess.
She was spotted inside the football field-sized basin at about 10 a.m. and Riverside County Animal Services was contacted. The good news is that the basin, which can hold a depth of approximately 20 feet, was only about 3 feet when she was spotted. She was able to sit up, albeit she was sitting up in a not-so-pleasant pool of sewage.
But by mid-day, the pond’s water level rises after the flow from thousands of residents’ morning showers and other activities. That’s why Richard Pallante, a maintenance operations manager, and Brent Keaster, a mechanical supervisor, jumped into action. Both used skills learned from years of being certified in confined space entry work.
Keaster attached a line to his harness and Pallante made sure he lowered his colleague down slowly and surely down a steep embankment. When Keaster reached the dog, he missed on his first attempt to lasso her. Riverside County Animal Services Officer John Hergenreder arrived and provided Keaster a better tool on the second descent. The officer’s snare worked perfectly.
“She realized we were there to help,” Mr. Keaster said. “We thought she might be aggressive. She was wearing a chrome-studded harness. But she was pretty docile. She was pleased. It was a good day.”
Mr. Keaster has four dogs and horses at his property and said he’s always had a soft spot for animals. He texted his wife and he said she was pretty ecstatic about his unusual morning event.
Darlene Spencer, an operations dispatcher, captured footage of the action. “You could tell she actually was ready to be helped,” she said. “It was as if she was saying, ‘OK, good, somebody’s here to help.’ I was worried she might swim away, or go to the middle of the basin where we would not be able to get her. But she came to Brent. That was the beautiful part of it.”
Officer Hergenreder transported the dog to the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley where his veterinary services colleagues quickly examined her and then gave her a very necessary bath. “We’re going to give her another one too,” Registered Veterinary Technician Krystal Angeles said. “She needs it!”
Other than her very, ahem, aromatic smell, she appeared in otherwise good shape. She had one abrasion on her left side, but Ms. Angeles treated that right away.