Austin Russell’s day took a drastic turn when he came across something splashing in the Grand River. Though he originally planned to just continue along with his bike ride, a bark in the distance changed everything.
Austin quickly realized that the splashing in the water that he had chalked up to floating debris was actually a canine that was in dire need of help. As he approached the river, he began to hear a dog barking and the sound of something rustling in the branches close to the bank.
It wasn’t long before he realized that a dog had become trapped in the brush along the river and was crying out for someone’s help. With it being such a cold day, the river’s temperature was unbearably cold. Austin knew he had to find a way to help this poor pup, but had to do so without falling in himself.
Austin quickly jumped into action and ran to find additional assistance from a security guard on the college campus nearby. The security guard quickly rustled up a mop that they could use to help pull the dog to safety, and the two ran back to the river in which the dog was trapped.
By this time the struggling pup had broken free from the branches along the riverbank, but was now being pulled down the river along with the current. After an unsuccessful attempt to lure the pup out with the mop, Austin knew he had one last chance to get this right.
Austin frantically searched the river for anyway to access the pup without falling victim to the current himself. That’s when he noticed an area beneath the train tracks that appeared to be shallow enough for him to access the river without being swept downstream. He quickly ran down to the shallow area and situated himself on his stomach, with his arms reaching out as far as possible to try to intervene as the desperate pup passed by.
“I laid on my stomach and the level of the river was perfect. My arm was barely long enough to reach the dog. He didn’t have a collar so I grabbed him by the skin on his neck, pulled him out of the water.” – Austin
Austin was able to pull the terrified fur baby into his arms and scoop him up from the river. The two quickly ran to the main road that ran alongside the river and began to flag down the cars that passed by. Luckily, they were able to recruit the help of two dog lovers that happened to pass by.
The drivers of the vehicle happened to have a warm blanket and some clothes in their backseat, so they proceeded to wrap up the shivering pup in effort to get him warm. It was then that the couple contacted the local animal shelter and were able to transfer him to safety.
Once the dog arrived at the Kent County Animal Shelter, they discovered that he was a Husky/Pit Bull mix named Max that had escaped from his yard earlier in the day. Max’s owners immediately rushed to the shelter to pick up their beloved companion and expressed how grateful they were for Austin’s efforts to save their baby.
We’re so glad that Austin was there to come to Max’s rescue, and hope that this rescue inspires others to help animals in need!
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