MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — A dog pulled from a cold mountain river about a week ago is lucky to be alive.
The pooch, who has been named River, was found stranded in Catawba River in Old Fort after people heard him barking for hours.
“He’s a precious dog, very precious, very sweet,” Mercy Fund Animal Rescue founder Joy Harklerode said. “Loves his water, loves to drink water.”
Thirst may be what got the 10-plus-year-old schnauzer-mix in trouble last Saturday. He somehow wound up stuck in the river, where people who heard him barking, snagged him from the water and got him to Mercy Fund Animal Rescue and then a veterinarian.
“They had to sedate him to shave him down,” Harklerode said. “And he had lots of mats and stuff all over him, kind of painful in the way he walked, and in his neck. They think he’s pretty arthritic.”
River is an arthritic and pathetic dog right now — he still has difficulty moving and is still dehydrated and exhausted. And he was virtually blind to begin with.
How he got into the Catawba remains a mystery.