According to Miami Beach firefighter Emilio Sanchez, jumping into Biscayne Bay to save an elderly dog is all in a day’s work.The Miami Beach Fire Department received a call about an animal in distress when beach-goers saw 12-year-old Junior struggling to stay afloat. The Shar-Pei/Rottweiler mix was barely paddling 25 yards from shore when Sanchez and his crew showed up.
It didn’t take them long to think of a plan, and Sanchez stripped off his clothes and jumped in.A video of the rescue shows Sanchez swimming toward the tired dog and wrapping his arms around him. Junior was obviously relieved to see someone willing to help, and he didn’t struggle as Sanchez hoisted him over his shoulders. With only one arm, the firefighter slowly made his way toward a nearby dock.
Two other firefighters lowered a body board into the water in an attempt to create a ramp for Junior to climb up. But exhausted and panicked, the dog needed to be pushed by Sanchez and pulled by the other firefighters. It took a lot of muscle to lift the big dog out of the water, but Junior finally made it to dry land.
Junior was lucky to be alive, and the group of firefighters did a quick check to make sure the senior dog was okay. After a half hour of rest and plenty of pets from his new firefighter friends, Junior was ready to be reunited with his family. Jose Ruiz met his dog at City Hall, and Junior’s tail never stopped wagging. After being reassured that his dog was safe and healthy, Ruiz was ready to take his furry family member home.
The situation could have ended in a tragic accident, but Sanchez and his team proved that all lives matter when it comes to public service.
Since the videos were posted on social media, they’ve raked in thousands of views. People are reaching out to the Miami Fire Department applauding their efforts and success. Hopefully others will follow the fire department’s lead in believing that even canine lives are worth saving.