Two police officers have risked their lives to rescue a dog from a car stranded in dangerous floodwaters near Northam, with one admitting the dog “had no chance” if they had not managed to get to the beloved pet when they did.
Max, a 30kg Bull Mastiff, was travelling in the car with his elderly owner when the vehicle became inundated by flooding on Katrine Road, in Katrine, about 95kms north of Perth, on Thursday, August 18.
Northam police were in a dramatic race against the clock when they entered the floodwaters to retrieve Max after his 80-year-old owner, Richard, was unable to free him from the car.
The water was flowing fast and quickly submerging the car — rising above the tyres — and already 20m from the water’s edge.
With no time to spare the officers made the heroic decision to rescue Max before it was too late.
One, Constable John Pomroy, said he initially thought it would be too dangerous but realised it was Max’s only chance at survival.
“Once we arrived we saw the little Peugeot in the water and Max’s silhouette in the back window,” he said.
“The dog had no chance if the car did move. That’s why we walked out first and did our little risk assessments.
“After a bit we could see that the water was getting a bit higher and that’s where (we’ve) gone ‘if we’re going to do something, we’re going to have to do it now.’”
The constable said Max was reluctant to get out through the boot of the car, forcing them to jump inside and carry him out.
“We had to climb in because he kept going to the front of the car,” he said.
“We had to carry him back but he froze. He didn’t want to touch the water.
“Once he was safe as houses, he was happy as.”
Const. Pomroy added that any officer who attended that job “would have done the same thing.”
In nail-biting vision, the officers can be seen side-stepping slowly to the car in knee-deep water while a tow truck driver reverses as close to the scene as he can get to offer aid.
Const. Pomroy is then seen carrying the 30kg dog back to the tow truck, where he was then reunited with his owner.
Max’s owner Richard, who has an injured knee, said he is “very appreciative” for the officers in the “very dangerous” rescue, adding it was a “critical situation” and the flooded water was only “getting worse.”
“It’s not the sort of thing you expect (officers) to be doing but I thought it was really good, especially to carry him out in the water,” he said,
“The water was rising and flowing quite fast. It was pushing and you had to (take) very cautious steps and carrying something like the dog — it’s a very dicey situation.
“The conditions were deteriorating all the time. It was a matter of doing it then or not doing it.”
Max was unharmed in the incident and reunited with Richard soon after, with a smile on his face and tail wagging.