Puppy Pulled to Safety on a Zipline

ABC News Blogs

An all-white, terrier mix puppy who found himself stranded on an island in a Los Angeles lake was pulled to safety Thursday on a zipline.

Officials from Los Angeles Animal Services got a call around 8 o'clock Thursday morning that a puppy was stranded on an island in the man-made lake in MacArthur Park in the city's Westlake neighborhood. The idea that a dog had made its way out to one of the islands built specifically for ducks and geese to enjoy made officials do a double-take.

"We get weird calls but I thought there was never going to be a dog on an island in the park so I went to check it out myself before activating my team," Armando Navarrete of Los Angeles Animal Services told ABCNews.com. "Sure enough, there was a little white poodle terrier there stranded."

Navarrete dispatched his Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team (SMART), a 24/7 rescue service, to the lake. The team arrived to find the dog nestled between two palm trees on the island to protect himself from the rain, but still shivering and scared.

"We think he had been there overnight because he was wet," Navarrete said. "He probably fell in and couldn't get up on a bank but could get on the island. That's a pretty huge lake for a dog like that."

The SMART team did not feel the inflatable, one-man kayak and water boards they had on hand were strong enough to support an animal rescue so they turned to the ropes they use for tree and other rescues to reel the dog in.

Navarette took one end of the ropes out with him in the kayak while rescuers on shore attached the other end of the ropes to a tree. Another rescuer who had paddled out to the island on a surfboard put the dog in a lifejacket and harness attached to the ropes.

"Once we gave the guy on shore the thumbs up, he just towed him [the dog] right across the water in the air," Navarette said.

The dog, a 7-month-old named Toy, was scared and shivering but otherwise unharmed when he arrived on shore.

His owners saw the rescue on the news and contacted Animal Services. They told officials the dog had gotten away while out on a walk, according to Navarette.

Toy is expected to be reunited with his owners today.

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