Four men with a kayak rescue mastiff from frozen Delaware River

The 85-pound pooch spent hours stranded on Delaware River ice.
The 85-pound pooch spent hours stranded on Delaware River ice.
Posted: January 28, 2014

After nearly four hours of trying to coax a frightened 85-pound mastiff stranded on a frozen section of the Delaware River Sunday afternoon, four men ventured onto the ice.

"He was about 200 yards out, and we were throwing hot dogs to him and whistling, but he wouldn't come," said Richard Hutchinson, a Ewing Township animal control officer who had received a call to help.

No one knows how the 2-year-old mastiff became stranded near the Calhoun Street Bridge, but crowds soon appeared on both sides of the river. Trenton police and firefighters also showed up, and warned Hutchinson and colleague Mark Phillips not to go onto the ice.

But after the authorities left, shelter volunteer Russ Miller arrived with a kayak and he and another man who happened on the scene, Ciro Silvestri, slid it across the ice.

"When you're an animal lover, you feel you have to do the right thing," Hutchinson said. The dog was disoriented and shivering, he said, and did not resist when Miller tied him inside the kayak.

They brought the dog back to the shelter, warmed him, and fed him. After seeing a video of the dog's rescue on 6ABC news, his family came in to claim him. After a veterinarian examines the dog Monday, the family will be free to take him home.

Hutchinson said he didn't know the dog's name, but if no one had come forward, he said he planned to call him River.

Perhaps it should be Lucky.


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