An incredible video of a heroic golden retriever named Storm has been making rounds on social media. The footage, captured by Storm’s owner Mark Freeley, shows the dog swimming in the waters off New York and attempting to save a drowning fawn.
As Freely told NBCNewYork.com, he and Storm were walking across the sand of Port Jefferson, Long Island, on Sunday morning when the dog suddenly leapt into the water then began paddling towards a brown lump in the distance. That lump turned out to be a fawn, one that Storm dragged to the shore in his mouth.
“Storm just plunged into the water and started swimming out to the fawn, grabbed it by the neck, and started swimming to shore,” explained Freeley.
Once on dry land, Storm was seen hauling the baby deer further inwards as Freeley reassured the dog that the fawn is alright. Storm laid the fawn down and began to gently nuzzle its prone form. The fawn appeared to be alive but exhausted by its ordeal. The one-minute video ended with Storm continuing to nudge the deer as he yipped softly.
However, the rescue didn’t end there. Freeley remained by the deer’s side and contacted the Strong Island Animal Rescue League for assistance. As animal rescue workers Frank Floridia and Erica Kutzing approached the deer, the frightened animal ran back into the water and swam out further than before. Freeley and Floridia followed the fawn and jumped in as well.
“It was a do-or-die situation. I really didn’t have much of a choice. If I didn’t go in the water, the deer would’ve died,” said Floridia.
This time, Storm watched from the shoreline as Floridia swam back with the baby deer in his arms. Kutzing carried the animal to their rescue van, and the duo transported the fawn to nonprofit animal rescue organization STAR Foundation.
Although the fawn was found to be “full of ticks” and had a head covered in cuts and bruises, Floridia stated that it is expected to make a full recovery in a few months’ time. Afterwards, it will most likely be released back into the wild.
In a brief interview with Patch.com, Kutzing spoke glowingly of Storm, saying that the way Storm treated the baby deer was “almost like a mother would treat her puppy. They grab them by the neck and carry them to a safe place.”
This was in spite of the fact that the fawn and Storm weren’t even of the same species, yet Storm acted as though the baby deer was one of his own. The very act pointed towards a “less obvious, more inspiring instinct within the retriever.” (Related: Hungry dog eats toes of diabetic man, performs role of surgeon in home amputation)
Kutzing added: “I think we could all learn something from Storm. If we just learn to treat each other nicely and look out for each other, despite our differences, the world would be a better place.”
As for Storm himself, Freeley rewarded him with treats from a boutique dog bakery, thus proving that every dog has his day.
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