The Dog Who Wanted to Live

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When police officers from Broward County spotted a helpless dog floundering in a canal, they knew she was just moments away from slipping beneath the surface forever. With time being of the essence, one of the officers jumped into the canal to save the poor pooch.

You won’t believe this heartwarming story.

The Great Escape

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Shasta was a 7-year-old German Shepherd who had wandered away from her home in Fort Lauderdale on January 8, 2018. While she usually stayed close to home, this particular day her curiosity was in overdrive and she escaped through a hole in the fence.

Stuck in the Canal

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Unfortunately, Shasta’s decision to check out the next block proved to be quite dangerous. She ended up stuck in a canal with no one around to help her. What would happen to this sweet dog?

Sliding Down the Bank

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Shasta’s trip into the canal occurred when she skidded down the slippery six-foot bank. Unable to find her footing, there was no way for the dog to climb back out. It was then that several residents saw her treading water.

Struggling to Swim

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One of the local residents could tell that the dog wouldn’t be able to keep up her attempts to swim for much longer. She immediately called the local police. The Broward Sheriff’s Office immediately dispatched Sergeant Tom Watkins to the scene.

The Police Jump into Action

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Watkins told the local news that took four other officers with him and they jumped into their cars immediately. They wanted to get to the scene as fast as they possibly could. But would it be in time?

Tired and Slowing Down

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The officers arrived on the scene to find Shasta barely able to hold her head above water. Tired from treading water, she could barely move. The officers knew they had to reach her soon and began to desperately attempt to get to her.

Moving Quickly

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Darting through resident’s yards, the officers quickly made their way to the canal. It was then they realized the steepness of the canal’s bank was keeping Shasta from getting out of the water.

Can’t Keep Balance

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Another problem was the abundance of slippery rocks that dotted the bank as well. The other officers had to hold on to one another in order to try to make it down the bank safely. Unfortunately, Shasta was just out of reach.

So Close…Yet Too Far

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With the steepness of the bank causing problems, the officers struggled to reach Shasta. The dog wasn’t able to help much either due to exhaustion and panic setting in. In fact, she actually swam away when one of the officers managed to get close enough to help her.

Frantic and Afraid

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“You could see the sadness in her eyes and how scared she was,” Watkins told the local news. Thankfully, one of the officers had brought an animal control rod. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t reach the dog with it, but was able to calm her down.

Rescue Success

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Thankfully, Shasta soon realized that the officers were there to help and managed to get close enough for them to lasso her. The rescue was recorded via the officers’ body cams and the local residents stated they were thoroughly impressed by how the officers conducted themselves.

Safe and Sound

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After rescue, the officers dried poor Shasta off and brought her to the local animal shelter. There, they were able to locate her owners and discovered an unexpected surprise. You won’t believe who her owner is.

One of Their Own

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According to the records, Shasta’s owner was Brown Sheriff’s deputy Doug Davis. His daughter Jasmine had been terrified when she couldn’t find Shasta and had been searching for her all morning.  Small world, right?

A Tearful Reunion

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Jasmine admitted to the local police that she was fearful she would never see Shasta again. Her mother had even contacted her father, asking him to contact the local animal control. Thankfully, things turned out okay for Shasta and the family couldn’t hold back their joy.

More Than Thankful

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“Thank you guys so much for finding my dog. I didn’t think I’d be able to tell you guys thank you,” Jasmine told the rescuing officers. “We’re so grateful,” Dahlia added. “I don’t know what our home would be like … if we still didn’t know where she was.”

Shasta the Honorary Police Dog

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While Shasta was never an official police dog, she did go through guard training. Regardless of who her owner was, that didn’t matter to the officers. They saw an innocent life in danger and acted like any decent human being would.

Animal Lover

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Officer Stambaugh who assisted with the rescue had two German Shepherds himself and was an avid dog lover. To him, he saw an animal in distress and responded. The eyewitnesses were also impressed with how well the officers worked together to save the dog.

Back with Family

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“The officers were very concerned for the dog. Very, very concerned, there was a lot of them out here,” a neighbor said. Thankfully, Shasta is now safe and sound with her family. Davis has also made it a priority to mend the hole in the fence.

Grateful Beyond Words

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“Knowing this was my dog or someone else’s dog, we got there as fast as we could.” Watkins told CBS Miami. And boy are we happy they did. We’re sure Shasta is eternally grateful as well. This will teach her to go for an unapproved swim.