A day which was supposed to be spent visiting a famous earthwork sculpture quickly turned into a huge rescue effort, as no fewer than 20 strangers united to rescue a dog stuck in a tar pit.
The dog’s owner Tom George was forced to leave his canine Shelby stuck in a pool by the Great Salt Lake’s Spiral Jetty and drive to the nearest town an hour away, because there was no cell phone reception to allow him call for help.
However, a family stayed behind to keep Shelby company and ever more strangers followed, as they heard about the dog’s predicament. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Twenty strangers joined forces to help rescue a dog named Shelby out of a tar pit he had gotten stuck in, near the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake.
2. As more people came, they began bringing various things to try and get Shelby out, using grocery bags, car floor mats, tarp, garbage bags, a straw hat and their bare hands.
George told Fox 13 Salt Lake City:
The whole time I was driving I kind of figured there was already a really good chance he was already gone.
At first the situation really looked “pretty hopeless”, as Max McGregor, whose family remained with the dog, described it. McGregor’s daughter Chloe said:
I was pretty sure that the back legs, the way they were positioned, they were going to snap right where the knee was.
3. With no cell phone reception to call for help, owner Tom George had to leave his dog Shelby stuck by the Great Salt Lake’s Spiral Jetty and drive an hour to the nearest town.
4. But the group was able to separate the dog from the tar, bit by bit, as they continued to put objects in the pit to keep Shelby from getting stuck again or from continuing to sink lower into the pool of tar.
Fox 13 reporter Todd Tanner, who was supposed to film a video of the Spiral Jetty on that day, said that only Shelby’s head was visible above the pit. He believed that the dog was about to die.
However, a family who was visiting the place, along with a photography group, rushed over to help the dog. Then a large group of friends from Salt Lake City join in as well.
As people kept coming, they started bringing things to try and get Shelby out. The rescuers tried using grocery bags, car floor mats, tarp, garbage bags, a straw hat, as well as their bare hands.
Max McGregor explained that, as the rescuers separated Shelby from the tar bit by bit, they kept putting items in the pit to prevent the dog from getting stuck once more and continue to sink.
5. Shelby still couldn’t move after he was freed from the pit, so five people helped carry him to the road and saw that George had come back just in time.
6. Veterinarians had to work on Shelby for 6 to 8 hours that night and had to shave most of his hair off to remove more than 40 lbs of tar.
Tanner said that no one in the rescue group “knew exactly what to do”. However, they did work tirelessly for more than an hour together to get the dog out. He wrote in his report for Fox 13 Salt Lake City:
Total strangers talked, and worked, shoulder to shoulder, and figured it out.
They didn’t know each other’s names, and they didn’t care. They ruined their clothes, they interrupted their plans, and they made a memory to last a lifetime. And yes, they saved Shelby.
Once he was freed from the pit, Shelby was still unable to move so people carried him to the road. At that time George returned.
Veterinarians worked on the dog for most of that night. They shaved most of Shelby’s hair off, removing more than 40 lbs of tar in the process.
7. George said that Shelby’s brother Rue stuck by his side, even sleeping next to him that first night after the accident. Shelby (right) has since recovered and his once “splendid coat” is growing back as well.
Shelby’s brother Rue remained by his side, even sleeping next to him that first night after the rescue.
Fortunately, Shelby has since made full recovery and his coat is now growing back as well.
And the rescuers are sure to always remember the incredible rescue effort. Cathy McGregor said:
You know what the best part is, though? Everybody that heard came and brought something and tried to help, and everybody had ideas.
I mean there were 20 people out here trying to get this little dog out.
8. Saving Shelby: Strangers unite to save a dog stuck in tar — Part 1.
9. Saving Shelby: Strangers unite to save a dog stuck in tar — Part 2.
Source: Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
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