Firefighter Rescues Dog From Los Angeles River

The footage was riveting; a firefighter descended from a helicopter to rescue a dog trapped in the Los Angeles river. Today the dog is safe and sound and looking for a new home. INSIDE EDITION has more.

The dramatic video riveted the nation: a dog struggled in the Los Angeles River with no way out. It looked like the dog was done for...until a hero came from above to save the day.

Joe St. Georges is the brave firefighter who plunged into the river to rescue Vernon the German shepherd. The terrified animal reacted like a dog.

"He kept trying to bite and snap back, to protect himself," explained St. Georges.


Vernon was trapped for at least an hour. Firefighters waded into the fast-moving current to save him, but he ran off, getting deeper and deeper into trouble, with every step broadcast on live TV.

When Vernon reached the concrete embankment he tried to climb out but couldn't. St. Georges was his only hope 

"[He was] pretty strong, he put up a good fight. I was able to secure him and we were able to get him out of there," St. Georges said.

He showed INSIDE EDITION his bandaged hand where Vernon bit him, but he says once they were in the air the dog settled down.

Today, the lucky dog is being cared for at a shelter. His owner has not come forward, so the staff members are calling him Vernon, after the city where he was rescued. Already offers to adopt him are flooding in.

"The perfect scenario would be him getting a nice home, where he's appreciated, he could be stable, he could be out of harms way, hopefully this will happen for him," Los Angeles Animal Control Officer Justin Guzman told INSIDE EDITION.