Dog rescued from river

COVINGTON - The victim of an attempted drowning was rescued from the Yellow River Thursday afternoon after he was tossed from the Ga. Highway 81 bridge, surfacing at the waterfalls.

Witnesses said they saw a boy on a bicycle throw the 20-pound, tan, hound-type puppy into the water as he rode over the bridge, according to Capt. Michael Cook, supervisor of road officers for Newton County Animal Control.

Cook said the dog apparently floated under the bridge, got to the waterfall and climbed up onto a cement ledge.

"There's about a 10-foot drop off there. He was standing there trembling on the concrete rail at the fall. We knew if he jumped off, it probably wouldn't kill him, but it possibly could have hurt him and he would have gone on down the river," Cook said.

Bystanders Raymond Oliver and his 10-year-old son Dylan tried to rescue the dog before police and Animal Control officers arrived, and though the dog was very frightened and growled at them, Oliver was successful in picking him up and handing him off to police officers, witnesses said.

Cook said the dog did try to bite one of the Animal Control officers, but thought it was because he was so scared. The dog, who Cook estimated to be about 6 or 7 months old, didn't appear to be hurt from his ordeal and was taken into custody by Animal Control where he will remain until he is claimed by the owner or adopted.

"The Porterdale Police are continuing their investigation, trying to find out who the juvenile is that did it," Cook said.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.