Dog rescued from Catawba River, reunited with owner

Dog rescued after being stranded

LOWELL, NC (WBTV) - The owner of a pit-bull has been reunited with the animal after she was pulled from the Catawba River by animal control officers with a canoe.

Zoey was pulled from the South Fork portion of the river Friday after she as found stranded on debris that had formed in the river against the bridge support for I-85 in Lowell, NC.

Since the area was only accessible by boat, Steven Rector and Joseph Toney paddled a canoe out to the dog, despite the rain and poor weather conditions. The canoe is Specialist Rector's that he brought from his home to rescue the dog.

Police say the dog was in "obvious fear and was aggressive" when the two men approached, but they were able to get him aboard the canoe. Everyone returned to shore safely.

"Specialist Toney and Specialist Rector placed themselves at considerable risk in their efforts to save this dog," Gaston County police said in a statement.

Zoey's owner says the dog and her four pups escaped from their home after getting through a hole in the yard's fence. The puppies were later found, but Zoey was still missing.

RELATED: Specialist uses own canoe to rescue dog from Catawba River

According to her owner, she posted online about her missing dog and someone told her about the rescue on the Catawba River.

Monday morning, the woman and Zoey were reunited when she picked Zoey up.

"If it wasn't for them, she probably wouldn't be here," the woman told WBTV.

She was happy to be back with Zoey and said that she was glad to have her back and safe. She was very appreciative to Specialists Toney and Rector for their actions.

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