By Amanda Thomason August 18, 2021 at 3:40pm
San Angelo, Texas, has seen a lot of rain over the past few days. On Tuesday morning, a flood warning was issued for the county.
Richard McGinty was walking along an overpass on Tuesday afternoon when he saw a terrible sight: a dog struggling for its life in a rain-swollen arroyo.
With no hesitation, McGinty dove in. He managed to reach the dog and prop it up on some partially submerged bushes and trees.
But he couldn’t get back out again. According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, he began “screaming for help,” and calls came in to police about a man drowning in the arroyo.
Officers arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m., but another passerby had already gotten McGinty out of the water using a tow rope.
So there they were: first responders, McGinty, his rescuer and other bystanders, looking down at the dog still hanging out in the brush below the overpass.
Authorities used a long pole to snare the dog and pull it up to the road. McGinty made sure to give it a pat before an officer took it away.
“I’m exhausted but OK,” McGinty said. “I was in the water for about 15 minutes.”
“I dove in after him. I tried to save the dog … and almost drowned in the process.”
He explained what had happened in an interview with San Angelo LIVE.
“I was walking down the overpass and witnessed a dog that was drowning in high floodwaters. I dived in after the dog and saved the dog’s life,” he said.
“In the process, I almost drowned too.”
People who heard about McGinty’s bravery commended his selfless actions online.
“This made me tear up,” one Facebook user commented. “Thank you sir. Glad [you’re] both ok.”
“What a wonderful man and great thing that he did,” wrote another. “He saved a life today that almost cost him his. Just when you start to lose faith in humanity, you see a story like this. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for saving this little [dog’s] life.”
When asked why he would risk his life to save the dog, McGinty said it was his duty.
“The dog needed somebody to save him,” he explained. “I mean, dog, animal — no matter what it is, if somebody’s life is on the line, it’s our job to try to serve and protect.”