A man’s best friend came to the rescue of a deer drowning off the shores of Long Island, N.Y., Sunday.
A dog named Storm jumped into the Long Island Sound, swam toward a fawn and grabbed it by the neck, video taken by owner Mark Freeley shows. The dog then doggy-paddled back to shore.
“Good boy, Storm. Bring him in,” Freeley can be heard saying in the video. The dog then used its paw to nudge the deer to make sure the critter was alive.
Freeley told CBS New York the deer ran back into the water after being rescued, and the second attempt to get it out again proved to be challenging because it went deeper into the water.
The Strong Island Animal Rescue League received a call from Freeley about the rescued deer. Freeley said he had left the animal on the beach thinking “it was going to be okay,” Frank Floridia told the Daily News on Monday.
After Floridia arrived at the beach to check the animal for wounds, the fawn got scared and jumped back into the water.
Floridia jumped in, too, after realizing the deer was struggling to keep its head above water.
“It was a do-or-die situation,” he told The News. "I really didn’t have much of a choice. If I didn’t go in the water, the deer would’ve died.”
When Floridia reached the fawn, he said the animal went limp but allowed him to grab her because the deer knew it was being saved.
“It was amazing,” he said.
Floridia came out of the water carrying the baby deer in his arms as his partner, Erica Kutzing, joined him. He said he blew out his knee during the rescue.
They took the deer to the Star Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Long Island that takes in rescued animals, where it was treated in stable condition.
Floridia said the deer was full of ticks and had cuts and bruises on its head. The animal will be released to its natural habitat after it recovers within a few months, he added.