Once in a Lifetime Photo Taken During Dog Rescue in Tampa

An amazing snapshot of one of the rarest sights in the world is taken while rescuing a dog from the Hillsborough River.

9.23.14 - Once in a Lifetime Photo Taken During Dog Rescue in Tampa1

The Tampa Police Department was called out to rescue a dog trapped in the Hillsborough River.  Upon arriving, the officers not only saw something unexpected, they managed to capture a snapshot of the moment, creating a once in a lifetime image.

According to police reports, people living by the river heard splashing and noises coming from the water.  When they went to the water’s edge to see what was going on, they noticed a dog struggling to keep itself afloat.

The neighbors flagged down Officer Randy Lopez who was passing by on patrol.  Officer Lopez orchestrated the rescue, and the frightened pooch was taken to safety.

9.23.14 - Once in a Lifetime Photo Taken During Dog Rescue in TampaFEAT

That was all well and good, but what police saw in a photo taken at the scene was something truly amazing.  There was a manatee in the water near the dog, keeping watch until rescuers could arrive and save the dog.  Manatees are rarely sighted, let alone near so much commotion.  The manatee seems to be keeping the dog company in it’s time of need.

It’s still unclear how the dog ended up in the water.  Other than a slight injury to it’s paws, the dog was otherwise in okay shape considering the predicament it was just pulled from.  The dog’s family was located, and the dog was returned.

9.23.14 - Once in a Lifetime Photo Taken During Dog Rescue in Tampa2

116 thoughts on “Once in a Lifetime Photo Taken During Dog Rescue in Tampa

    1. I thought it was a cloud too but he’s in water…the reflection is making it look like land! You can see the manatee under the waters surface!

  1. Manatees are not that rare a siting in Florida. Here in Miami they can be seen often. Certainly not your click bait title “Once in a lifetime!”

  2. I think they meant “once in a lifetime” because of the situation of the manatee keeping the dog company until it was safe, not the actual sighting of it.
    And Alyson, the pic is taken looking down into the water. The cloud you’re seeing IS the manatee.

  3. Carla Brown In this case scenario it is still not rare at all. Manatees are social animals and love being around other beings. They will come up to you, dogs or others in the water often. Especially if there is fresh water being offered to them 🙂 FAR from rarest sightings in the world as the click bait would suggests.

  4. I think you misunderstood. They wrote ”snapshot of the moment, creating a once in a lifetime image”. Its the moment described as once in a life time, a manatee keeping watch the dog. Its not about taking a manatee pic

  5. Always negative people trying to take away from a happy story and over analyze things. I’m happy for the dog and enjoyed the photo.

  6. Manatee sighting are not so rare, fortunately. Note this one has two prop scar patterns, and might even be a known individual. Forward photo to Sirenia Project folks.

  7. I lived in Bradenton and kayaked and swam in the brackish water with my dog all the time. One time I was throwing her ball out in the water for her to get and 5 manatees popped up and swam with her. Peaceful and fun animals.

  8. First rule of journalism: use proper punctuation and grammar. “It’s” is NOT possessive form! “The dog hurt its paw.”

  9. Danielle Mates Marianna Nikolaidis Laura Victoria Cox Diana Smile Velasquez Kramer the animal world looks after their own! Manatees! Ashley Delgado Christina Perez

  10. LOL! I just read that article myself Mayan Shih…but the stupid owners didn’t know their dog was missing?!?!

    1. First off who are you callin stupid I noticed my dog gone at 7 a.m and walked all over the neighborhood looking for him and couldn’t find him fyi … the police arrived like two hours later thats when I found my dog so talk what you know idiot

  11. Manatees are amazing. They have no predators (other than people in boats) so they are curious and seem to have little or no fear when I’ve seen them. Once I was in my kayak and one came up underneath my kayak, lifted me 2-3 feet up out of the water. He or she dumped me back in the water very quickly. I think it scared both of us!

  12. The dog must be playing with Manatee and keep watch over him until rescuer came. Thanks to the rescuer! God bless all of you.

  13. The dog is so cute; I hope his paws heal soon – what I found so sad was that people heard noises from the river during the night but no one thought to look into it and the dogs family never realized he was gone at all? They only realized it was about him when they came out to see what the police activity was about? Wow…..

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