Man Takes His Dog For A Walk Before Events Take A Seriously Dark Turn

All it takes is five words to make any dog go ballistic: “Wanna go for a walk?” Before you even finish the question, your pup is practically out the door, tail wagging like mad and nose primed for all the sniffing it can handle. But what dog wouldn’t be excited about a chance to stretch their legs? After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen on a quick stroll through the neighborhood?
Long Island man, Jim Devaney, thought as much when he began his usual jog around the block, with his six-year-old lab Carson bounding alongside him. It was a walk like any other, a perfect day — until one wrong move turned the leisurely stroll into a deadly race against the clock.
Jim never expected the day would unfold like it did, as he and his pup crossed from their Wading River home to the greenspace alongside the Great Rock Golf Course’s 18th fairway. It was a cold December day, though Carson was more than ready for some much-needed exercise.
Having just celebrated his sixth birthday, the young lab had been munching on all the celebratory cold cuts he could handle. With his belly full, it was time for Carson to stretch his legs on his usual walking route.
Jim Devaney
But as the pair approached the edge of the golf course’s pond, Jim felt Carson fall out of stride with him. Believing the curious pup was simply sniffing around, Jim thought nothing of it, until…
Splash! Carson slipped down the leaf-covered edge, sliding headfirst into the water. Jim looked on, expecting his water-loving dog to turn the pond into his own personal swimming pool — then, his heart sank.
Instead of swimming, the frightened dog began backing out of the water and straight toward an 18-inch runoff tube. Jim called after Carson, desperate to get his attention, but it was too late: Carson had squeezed himself inside the drain pipe.
@obrienplumbingwarragul / Instagram
“I kind of panicked at first,” Jim told the Riverhead News-Review. “I ran down and jumped into the water to see if I could get him. By that point, he was already in the pipe and backing up even farther.”
Jim raced home to get his 16-year-old son Jimmy, who brought two friends along with him to help rescue Carson. Yet to the group’s horror, they returned to find that the terrified dog had backed himself another 20-30 feet inside the pipe.
At this point, Jim could barely see or even hear Carson. Jimmy offered to crawl in after the dog and pull him out, but Jim, unwilling to risk his son’s safety, told him to make a call instead.
Daniel Foster / Flickr
That call was answered by Fire Chief Anthony Bitalvo, though he and his firefighters were busy escorting Santa through the community for their annual “Stuff-a-Bus” food drive. But sleigh riding with Saint Nick would have to wait; Carson needed their help.
Robins Air Force Base
More than a dozen firefighters and EMS personnel arrived on the scene, bringing heavy rescue trucks, fire engines, and other support vehicles with them. The rescue promised to be an intensive one — time, unfortunately, wasn’t on their side.
Zack Bowden / Flickr
Carson was still wet from his fall in the pond, and with each passing minute, the air temperature was dropping closer and closet to freezing. If they didn’t get the poor pooch out of the pipe fast, hypothermia was a very real possibility.
“We determined that it was going to be a pretty intense kind of situation to try to get the dog out,” explained First Assistant Chief Branden Heller. “The dog was basically four feet underground in a drainage pipe that started 50 feet from the entrance.”
Tony Schick / OPB / EarthFix
With the clock ticking, the first responders sank a vertical vent pipe into the ground in an attempt to pinpoint Carson’s location. They strained their ears for the sound of the desperate dog, though it wasn’t until an EMS dropped some treats down the pipe that they finally got something.
“We could hear him crying and whimpering,” Jim recalled. “He just couldn’t move forward as much as we called him. We knew he was OK, but he was just stuck in there.”
The rescuers began digging, quickly reaching the drain pipe below and preparing a saw to slice off the top section. However, a collective fear gave the first responders pause: what if the sound of the saw scared Carson further into the pipe?
CBS New York
Seeing no other option, the workers cut the pipe open, dirt and debris cascading down into the murky darkness below. They peered inside, seeing nothing in the pitch black — until a tiny head emerged to greet them.
Jim ran to the hole, and with Jimmy’s help they finally managed to free Carson and coax the shivering pup from his place underground. Everyone was relieved, and while he’d been terrified just moments before, the sight of so many new friends got Carson wagging up a storm.
Wading River Fire Department
“He’s a lab full of energy and just always happy to see people,” Jim laughed. “When he got out of the pipe and he was surrounded by 30 or so people, he was just super excited.”
Wading River Fire Department
Though a little shaken by the experience, Carson was back to his rambunctious ways the very next day, something Jim was thankful to see. “The end result is he got a bath out of it and got to meet a whole bunch of new people,” he joked.
Wading River Fire Department
Jim also made sure to thank the first responders for their tireless efforts. Some of them had some pretty wild stories. But if you were to ask Captain Scott Parkin of the Paterson Fire Department about the craziest animal rescue of his career, you likely wouldn’t believe him.
Over the years, Parkin had pulled his fair share of cats out of trees, and saving dogs from sticky situations was practically his day job. But one morning he received a call about a far more complicated pet rescue.
MEOW Cat Rescue
Something was wrong at the Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey. Visitors spotted movement in some bushes growing out of a nearby ledge. What could it possibly be?
A closer look revealed a dog stranded at the foot of the waterfall. Nobody there could reach it, and one misstep would plunge the canine straight into the raging Passaic River.
The situation was serious. The Great Falls span nearly 80 feet from top to bottom, placing it among the largest waterfalls in the United States.
To make things worse, heavy rains from the past couple days made the waterfall’s current incredibly fierce. Parkin would have to act fast.
As luck would have it, he was the perfect man for the job. For one thing, he had 25 years under his belt as a firefighter and had handled plenty of disasters.
Flickr / Nick Perla
He also had crisis management in his blood. His father Joseph was a longtime firefighter who passed along all his knowledge to his son.
Paterson Fire History
Back in 1976, Joseph even saved two dogs from that same waterfall. Now Parkin was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Flickr / Joel Sax
Additionally, he felt more than prepared to put his life on the line for the pooch. Parkin believed that ‘dogs are the best — sometimes better than people.’
The Paterson firefighters originally considered launching a rescue mission by boat. However, the powerful current made this option too risky. They were going to have to get creative.
With the help of his team, Parkin hooked up a cable to a bridge above the falls and bravely rappelled down. Hopefully, the dog would cooperate, or else the ride back up would go far less smoothly. / Mitsu Yasukawa
When Parkin finally reached the ledge, he breathed a sigh of relief. The pitbull in peril was not hostile or seriously injured.
Flickr / Kait Young
Parkin was a dog owner himself, so he knew how to earn the dog’s trust despite the tense situation. With a handful of food and a few encouraging words, he lured it closer.
Keeping his cool, Parkin led the pit bull into a bag connected to the cable. It wouldn’t provide the most comfortable ride for the pup, but at least it wouldn’t be able to look down!
As a crowd of concerned onlookers gathered around the waterfall, the Fire Captain gave the signal that he was ready for his team to hoist him up. / Mitsu Yasukawa
The firefighters expertly pulled Parkin and his new friend up the face of the Great Falls. At last, he planted his feet back on solid ground. Mission success!
Animal control officers on the scene confirmed that the pooch was okay and congratulated Parkin. They said that without his heroics, the critter would have likely drowned. / Mitsu Yasukawa
A class act all the way, Parkin gave full credit to his team. He explained, ‘I trust these guys with my life. I’d go off any structure at any height with the trust I have in these guys and the work they do.’
NBC4 New York
The dog’s collar had no tag attached, so Mayor Andre Sayegh named it Paterson. With open arms, the fire department adopted the animal named after the town.
Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge
How did Parkin celebrate a job well done? He went off to call his 94-year-old father, who was undoubtedly quite proud. For the Parkin clan, animal rescues simply run in the family.

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