Jim Passmore was enjoying a quiet walk around Haikey Creek, Oklahoma, when he stumbled across a rather distressing sight. There, stuck in the water, was a giant animal struggling to free itself from the mud. Passmore looked closely at the tired, feathery beast – and concluded that it was an over-sized beaver. But even if he couldn’t be sure of what animal he’d found, one thing was clear: there was no time to lose if he was going to save its life. After Passmore leaped into action, though, he was in for a shock when he finally saw the animal’s face.
The hero of this daring rescue attempt, Jim Passmore, is a local who lives in Broken Arrow, OK – an area known for its stunning natural environments. In fact, Broken Arrow boasts sparkling lakes, undulating hills and plenty of greenery – so it’s not unusual for Passmore to be out and about. Yet he’d never seen a sight like the one that greeted him on this particular day.
You see, one popular beauty spot in the area is Haikey Creek. But just because a place is beautiful, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers lurking around every corner. And if Passmore hadn’t believed that before, he no doubt changed his mind after his ambitious rescue attempt in March 2017.
So what happened? Well, Passmore had simply been enjoying a walk down by the creek with his beloved dogs. As he strolled along the waterfront, however, an unsettling sight stopped him in his tracks. Instead of walking on by, though, the local decided to take a closer look. But still he couldn’t make out exactly what he was seeing.
After staring at the mass for some time, then, Passmore concluded that it was a beaver. As a species, after all, beavers live by waterways – so it wouldn’t have been that unusual to spot one by the creek. If it was a beaver, though, it wasn’t your everyday variety. This creature was likely much larger than any beaver Passmore had ever seen before. Still, it didn’t stop the man from making an approach.
Passmore probably felt safe in doing this because the poor creature was completely stuck in the mud. In fact, it looked to the walker like the animal been there for some time. And if that was the case, then there was no chance it was going to get itself out of there alone. So Passmore sprang to its aid.
Without a second thought, then, Passmore rallied a rescue team and got to work on breaking the animal free. Yet this was not just a ragtag team of interested locals: someone from the rescue team also contacted the local police department. But the group had quite a task on their hands to help the animal without causing it any further distress.
It seems that simply picking the animal up was quickly ruled out as a plan of action. Perhaps it was impossible to do this without hurting the already scared animal. So, in the dramatic footage of the incident, an officer can be seen holding a piece of rope as another man – up to his knees in creek water – secures it around the creature’s body.
Reassuring the animal as he does so, the man then quickly places the lead around its body. He then hands his end of the rope to the cop on the waterside. That’s when the policeman attempts to heave the animal onto dry land. However, the creature proves to be rather heavy – and doesn’t appear to budge an inch. What now?
Well, the policeman gives it another go. And finally, after much tugging from the cop, the animal starts to rise to shore. It might not be elegant, but it gets the job done. Once the creature is on dry land, too, the rescue team survey it for injuries. “Is he bleeding or anything?” one concerned onlooker asks.
By this point, of course, the group have realized that the animal was not a large beaver. In fact, they’d just pulled a trapped dog onto the shore. Yet there was still no way of telling just how long the dog had been stuck in the creek. Police later theorized that a car may have struck the animal, sending it into the water. And, once there, he probably became stuck for quite a long time.
One reason for this became apparent after its rescue. You see, veterinarians later revealed that the dog was quite overweight – which could have contributed to his inability to escape the creek. They also discovered that the dog was an eight-year-old male. They decided to name the animal Teddy.
Fortunately, things quickly started to look up for Teddy. Shortly after his rescue, in fact, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals stepped in to take care of the dog. The non-profit organization aims to tackle pet overpopulation problems in Oklahoma. And, to do so, it encourages people to adopt animals rather than buy them.
As part of its work, the Alliance rescues animals from shelters. It also provides cheap neutering services and educates the local community on responsible pet ownership. So, as Teddy passed into the care of the organization, the dog found himself in extremely capable hands.
Indeed, after rescuing the dog, the team at Oklahoma Alliance for Animals got to work on Teddy’s recovery. First things first, the organization placed him in quarantine, just to be safe. You see, the animal had bitten one of his rescuers during his escape from the creek. This naturally sparked concerns over rabies, even though he showed no symptoms of the disease.
Then came time for the real recovery. Later, the non-profit took to its Facebook page to share an update on the dog. “Teddy is doing good,” the message read. “When he first arrived at Alta Vista Animal Hospital, he was scared. So we gave him a couple of days to get used to his surroundings.”
The post added, “He has no broken bones but has a hard time getting up. That may be because of his weight. He has been given anti-inflammatory and pain meds, which finally kicked in, and has started showing signs of being less stressed and lets Jessie the receptionist love on him.”
In the update, the Alliance also revealed that it would be looking for a new home for Teddy if no owners came forward to claim him. Luckily for the dog, though, his rescue story had already attracted the attention of many animal lovers.
One Facebook user wrote on the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals’ update, “When he’s out of quarantine, I want to come love on him.” Another added, “Speedy recovery, Teddy. I know you will find a great forever home with so much love!”
In fact, Teddy proved so popular that he soon had his very own Facebook page. Titled Teddy’s Big Adventure, the account gives regular updates on the well-being of everyone’s favorite rescue pup. And as of March 2020, Teddy was relaxing in the comfort of a new bed, surrounded by a loving family, in Tulsa, OK.
Unfortunately, though, Teddy isn’t the only dog who’s had to be rescued from a rather sticky situation. And sometimes, the effort to pull these pooches to safety is a risky business. When this furry friend became trapped in a giant Los Angeles aqueduct, for instance, his only hope was the man who made the precarious climb down to save him.
When a German Shepherd got stuck in L.A.’s concrete river with no way out, his only hope was one brave man who climbed down to save him. But the stray dog surprised everyone with his reaction when the rescuer finally approached him.
The concrete aqueduct spanning the city of Los Angeles is wide, deep and far-reaching. Built in the late 1930s to help control floods, the 51-mile-long channel directs the course of the Los Angeles River through to the ocean. But since the city gets very little rainfall, the canal is usually dry.
Today, the structure is more famous for Hollywood car chases in movies such as Transformers. But for many locals the watercourse is nothing more than a dangerous eyesore. Indeed, chain-linked fences on either side of the steep channel are meant to keep people and animals out, but accidents still happen. So when a dog managed to get stuck at the bottom, some locals banded together to help.
The German Shepherd was likely spotted from one of the many homes lining the L.A. River. Often the properties have only a fence separating their yards from the canal’s steep embankment, so it was perhaps thought that the dog belonged to someone. In any case, concerned citizens continued to throw food to the animal for weeks before finding help.
When animal rescue organization Hope for Paws received a panicked call about a dog stuck in the aqueduct, it’s staff responded without delay. Indeed, the L.A.-based nonprofit was created to help animals in situations just like this.
Eldad Hagar, Hope for Paws’ founder, personally goes to great lengths to rescue animals from dangerous and otherwise hopeless situations. But this particular rescue mission would challenge Hagar to confront his deepest fears.
Biggie, the name given to the helpless pup, had likely been a stray for five years by the time he was spotted in the river channel. And however Biggie had ended up in the aqueduct, he was now quite stuck – with no exit from the concrete highway for miles.
The Hope for Paws team arrived at the scene and began filming what was to be a challenging rescue attempt. The first shot of Biggie shows the German Shepherd lying with perched ears at the bottom of the canal. He looks weary but perhaps hopeful as he notices people gathering above him.
Unfortunately, between Biggie and his rescuers was a steep 20-foot drop and a tall chain-linked fence. There was no way to get up or down as far as the eye could see. “We were not equipped for this unique challenge,” said Hagar in the Hope for Paws YouTube video of the rescue.
“[But] neighbors offered their help and quickly gathered equipment for us,” he added. In fact, someone gave Hagar and his team a ladder so that they could reach the dog. However, as they started lowering the ladder down through a hole in the fence, it started to break.
Thinking quickly, Hagar tied the ladder back together using a leash he had on hand. “Since it was a 20-foot drop and we had no safety gear, I went down alone,” he explained. This was especially impressive because, in order to do so, Hagar had to conquer his fear of heights.
Thankfully, Hagar made it safely down the ladder and into the aqueduct. Dropping treats on the ground as he walked backward, Hagar slowly coaxed the German Shepherd. Not surprisingly, Biggie seemed nervous; though he quickly ate the treats, he eyed Hagar suspiciously.
Then Hagar pulled out a leash, which frightened Biggie, who retreated with his tail between his legs. Meanwhile, volunteers lowered a cage over the fence that would be used to hoist Biggie from the dry river to safety.
With some calm affection, Hagar got Biggie to cautiously lie down on the ground. Then the rescuer began to pet the dog and scratch his ears. For perhaps the first time in a long while, it looked like Biggie was starting to feel safe. To not frighten him again, then, Hagar covered the dog’s eyes as he gently placed the leash around his neck.
With the leash secured, Biggie stood up and leaned against Hagar with his tail wagging. Hagar then picked up the dog and placed him in the cage. Next, though, came the risky business of hoisting Biggie out of the 20-foot ditch and over the chain-linked fence. Indeed, it took three volunteers pulling on ropes to gradually lift Biggie’s cage to safety.
When Biggie finally made it out of the river, a group of children watching the scene cheered. And things were looking up for Biggie in another way, too: Hagar’s friend Tiffany Norton, from Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, happily fostered the dog as he awaited adoption.
“Currently Biggie can be a little shy, but after only a minute or two of introductions, he becomes a flawless companion. This guy is a quiet lover, a gentle friend and a subtle soul,” Coastal German Shepherd Rescue reported on The Pet Blog Lady.
These endearing qualities were bound to work in Biggie’s favor. Indeed, he was soon adopted and now, apparently, even has a girlfriend. His coat is full and healthy, and he looks like a whole new dog. But best of all, he has a loving home far from the horrors of the L.A. aqueduct.