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Second chance at life: Woman jumps into French Broad River to save drowning dog

By Charles Perez

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — A scruffy 20-pound poodle mix is lucky to be alive, and it’s all thanks to someone who was willing to jump in to the rescue.

Riu is about 2 years old, and he’s recovering from a pretty traumatic experience.

About two weeks ago, two women were walking along the French Broad River when they noticed him run past them, as if something had scared him.

He ran down to the river, fell in and was quickly swept up in the current.

The women watched him struggle and called Asheville Animal Services, but after a few minutes, they saw him start to go under, so one of them jumped in to save him.

“It had stormed the previous day, so the water levels were really high. It was turbulent, it was freezing cold that day — it was like a high of 43,” said Sarah Stapleton, with Asheville Humane Society. “We are are blown away by the heroics of those two women.” Riu was taken to Asheville Humane Society, where he was given a full medical evaluation.

With a clean bill of health, he was placed with a foster family, where he’s been living “the good life.”

His foster dad says he was pretty shakey in the beginning, but now, he’s a fun and loving part of the family.

So far, no one has come forward to claim him.

Any interested adopters should contact the Asheville Humane Society — though his foster family has first dibs!

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