Runaway dog rescued from downtown Beaufort marsh

astice@islandpacket.comJuly 29, 2012 

City of Beaufort firefighter Andrew Vinson carries a dog that had been stuck in the marsh near Bay Street on Sunday morning in downtown Beaufort.

SARAH WELLIVER/STAFF PHOTO

A runaway dog who evaded Beaufort police offers got trapped in a marsh near Bay Street on Sunday morning and had to be rescued by city firefighters.

The dog's capture turned into "quite the community affair," said Ribaut Road resident Jamie Wolf.

It started when a Beaufort resident found the small black dog limping on a downtown road and brought it to a Beaufort police officer. The animal didn't weigh more than 25 pounds, said Capt. John Robinson of the Beaufort Fire Department.

But before the officer could get the dog in the car to take it to Beaufort County Animal Shelter & Control, it bit him and escaped, authorities said. Robinson said the officer followed the dog but was unable to catch up with it.

Wolf said she was sitting on her porch at about 9:30 a.m. when she spotted the dog along Ribaut Road after it had evaded police.

She and her husband, along with a few others, attempted to trap the small dog but it fled once again -- this time over the bluff and into the marsh.

The animal, now frightened and tired, was trapped in the pluff mud during low tide, Robinson said.

Firefighters laid down a ladder and used plywood in a manner similar to snowshoes to avoid sinking into the mud themselves. They reached the dog in about 20 minutes and the animal, now docile, allowed firefighters to pick him up and carry him out of the marsh, Robinson said.

Robinson said the dog, who was wearing a collar and tag, was taken to the county animal shelter. Attempts to reach animal control officers were unsuccessful Sunday.

Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy said both the dog and the police officer are doing fine.

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