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Devastated Dog Ended Up In LA River After His Human Passed Away

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on November 30, 2022

Many people assume their friends or family will take care of their pets if they pass away, but sadly, that’s not always the case. When a man near Los Angeles died suddenly, his dog named Nico had no one to look out for him. The dog was abandoned, and he ended up fighting for his life in the LA River.

Nico’s family members wouldn’t step up to take him, but there were plenty of strangers that were happy to become his new family. When animal lovers heard about a dog trapped in the river, they didn’t hesitate to save his life.

Dog trapped by LA River

Fighting for His Life

Several bystanders grew worried when they noticed a small dog walking down by the LA River with no way to escape on his own. First, people reached out to animal control and the fire department, but neither rushed to help the dog. So, someone contacted Hope for Paws and showed them footage of the dog by the river. Members of the organization arrived at the scene as quickly as they could.

Luckily, the dog was stuck in a spot where he could stand and walk around, so he wasn’t at risk of drowning. But when animal rescuers got down there to search for him, the temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit. So, they explored the tunnels to see if the pup went to seek shade.

Woman rescuing abandoned dog

RELATED: Dog Struggles In Rushing Waters For Hours As Heroes Jump Into Action

One rescuer recorded footage of them walking into the tunnels to find the dog. As they got further inside, it grew dark enough for them to need night vision goggles. Luckily, the dog hadn’t gone deep into the tunnel, so rescuers found him huddled on a dry patch against the tunnel’s wall.

The poor pup looked terrified and confused as rescuers put two leads on him. Yet, he showed no signs of aggression, and he didn’t resist when a woman on the team picked him up. He’d likely had a tough couple of days, so he was grateful to finally be in someone’s loving arms again.

Rescue dog getting bath

Nico’s Happily Ever After

The dog had a microchip, so Hope for Paws scanned it to discover that the pup’s human recently passed away, and someone threw the dog out on the streets. His human’s daughters had no interest in the dog, and they didn’t even know his name. So, the rescue organization took the pup into their care.

Hope for Paws referred to the little dog as Nico. They gave him a long overdue bath and they shaved off his severely matted hair. Once Nico was clean and healthy, he sprang to life and became very affectionate with his rescuers.

Happy rescue dog being cuddled

Nico has since been adopted by a loving family, and he seems happier than ever. When his new humans sing, Nico likes to howl along with them. Now, Nico will never have to worry about being abandoned ever again.

Sadly, pets getting abandoned after their owners’ deaths is more common than people realize. So, Hope for Paws has partnered with FreeWill to encourage pet parents to put their animals in their wills. If you’d like to support rescue missions like Nico’s, you can donate to Hope for Paws.

Watch Nico’s Rescue Video Here:

Featured Image: YouTube

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