On July 21, 2014, Tom, a terrier mix dog from Chaco, Argentina, got stranded on a small island inside a lagoon. His owner, Marta Avila, was desperate to rescue him, and having no one to turn to, she called local animal rescue group, Fundación Pequeñas Huellitas, for help.
Cintia Berri Solá, president of the organization, received the call for help at 10:30 p.m. At first she didn’t think she would be able to help Avila rescue her dog – the rescue group does not own the aquatic rescue equipment necessary for this type of rescue – but after discussing it with volunteers, a member remembered that Marianela Ripoll Torres, another volunteer, owns a kayak.
Immediately, the group reached out to Ripoll Torres, and she willingly agreed to rescue the dog using her kayak. Mario Burgos and Ceci Sansó, other volunteers, joined the rescue efforts.
In the middle of the night and in complete darkness, the three rescuers met Avila at the lagoon. Armed with the kayak, a paddle, and a few flash lights, volunteers entered the lagoon in search of Tom.
It took them a while to reach the pet, but at soon as they were near the scared dog, Tom jumped into the kayak and into Ceci Sansó’s arms.
When they reached the shore, the dog and his rescuers were wet and covered in mud. The hero rescuers were happy they found the dog and reunited him with his owner. Avila was ecstatic to have her pet safe and back in her arms.
Burgos, Sansó, Ripoll Torres, and Tom needed a bath right after the rescue, but for all of them, that night will be one to remember.