Golden retriever saved from canal

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helped retrieve a dog from a canal in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Lilly the Golden Retriever is in good spirits after being rescued, Monday. According to MDFR, she has been eating, drinking water and responding to treatment. She was examined by a veterinarian, who said she is an older dog with hip problems. "She looks a lot better this morning than last night, so we hope that she continues to improve," said Chief Veterinarian Maria Serrano.

Witnesses called for help after seeing the golden retriever struggling in the water, in the area of 144th Street and 157th Avenue.

Upon their arrival, rescuers found the dog in distress and exhausted but managed to safely pull her out. "She continued to swim away from us, so the decision was made that I would go in after the dog," said Capt. John Meizoso.

Fire rescue used a buoy, ladder and backboard on land. "So once we had the animal secure and we were good with removing the animal, we we’re able to pivot the ladder and then move the whole ladder and backboard at one time," said firefighter Rick Resbo.

Officials said that Lilly would not have lasted much longer. "Probably about two strokes away from her, her head was starting to dip in the water so I think had we waited a little bit longer, it may not have had a happy ending," said Meizoso.

Lilly has a microchip, but was not connected to an address and therefore was taken to Miami-Dade Animal Services. "She cannot walk, probably because she was doing so much exercise to maintain above water that she’s probably exhausted. She looks a lot better than yesterday, so we hope she continues to improve," said an animal services employee.

Firefighters are happy that they could help prevent a sad ending for Lilly. "Our pets are our families and so we don’t mind going that extra mile," said firefighter Mike Knott.

The owner of the dog is still unknown. If you know who the owner may be, contact Miami-Dade Animal Services at (305) 884-1101.