Published: 00:00, 14 December 2001
A GUARD dog became as meek and mild as a puppy when the RSPCA rescued it from a freezing river. The stricken German Shepherd was spotted clinging to a floating tyre to escape the cold water of the River Medway in Maidstone.
Firefighters called to the scene, near Homebase in St Peter's Street, feared the animal would become aggressive so they requested RSPCA experts to rescue it. The RSPCA dog handlers used a Kent Fire Brigade inflatable boat to reach the dog which was only too eager to aboard.
The dog's owners could not be traced and it was taken to RSPCA secure kennels. The animal welfare organisation has since made contact with the owners and the dog is due to return home shortly. The RSPCA has given the owners advice about dog welfare.
Insp Steve Dockery, from the RSPCA said: "The fire brigade had concerns about being bitten so one of our officers stepped in. But, in actual fact, the dog was only too glad to be helped. It had clearly had enough."