RIVERVIEW — Hours before heavy rains pelted the region, two Hillsborough County deputies rescued a puppy Tuesday that was already struggling to stay afloat in a storm drain, their agency reported.
Residents in the Pavilion Subdivision neighborhood waved down Deputy Tara Quezada while she was on patrol and told her that a small dog had fallen into a storm drain and was having difficulty staying above water, said Master Deputy Jerry Carey of the Sheriff's Office.
Quezada called Deputy Zachary Shute for help and the two removed the drain cover, Carey said. The puppy, a female about 3 months old, was lower than they could reach. They first tried to use a net given to them by bystanders, but it wasn't long enough.
Deputy Shute grabbed Quezada's duty belt and lowered her head first into the drain, Carey said. Quezada used the net to pull the dog out just after 7:30 a.m.
They were unable to find the puppy's owners. They dubbed her "Poncho" and delivered her to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.
"A great job by these deputies, and we are hopeful the Resource Center will locate Poncho's owner or perhaps find her a new adoptive home," Carey said.
Contact Jonathan Capriel at 813-225-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jonathancapriel.