A south Belfast woman who watched helplessly as her friend’s pet dog became trapped in the River Lagan said the quick thinking of a good samaritan saved the animal’s life.
Wellington Square resident Carole Greenan was walking three-year-old chocolate labrador Cocoa along the river in Lagan Valley Regional Park last Wednesday, July 30, when the dog jumped into the water after spotting a duck.
“Cocoa is always jumping into the river there as she loves the water,” explained Ms Greenan.
“I took the lead off her and she jumped in after a duck, but she got her neck trapped in some mesh wire and rope that was in the river.
“I started to panic and called for help as Cocoa was in great distress.”
Ms Greenan said that a passing gentlemen jumped into the Lagan and freed the dog.
“By this stage, Cocoa was starting to go under and a crowd had gathered at the riverbank,” said Ms Greenan.
“I helped him (the good samaritan) out of the water, but did not get a chance to thank him properly for what he did as he was dripping wet and had to run home.
“I just want to thank him for his valiant efforts in saving Cocoa because if he had not of jumped in she might have drowned.”
Ms Greenan said that another dog walker at the scene had spoken of how her own pet dog had also been trapped by debris in the river near the same area after it jumped in a few months previously.
“It makes you think how safe the river is for animals and what would happen if a person fell in,” said Ms Greenan.
When contacted a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) said: “The River Lagan is a designated watercourse within the terms of the Drainage (Northern Ireland) Order 1973 and therefore is maintained by Rivers Agency as necessary to ensure free flow.
“The Rivers Agency, however, only maintains an interest in the flow control structures of the River Lagan and is not involved in debris removal unless it constitutes a drainage risk or impediment to flow.”