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Spikey, dog rescued from flooded L.A. River during rainstorm, is reunited with owner

Maria Medina and Ramon Medina get their Spikey back as Senior animal care 

technician Stephanie Webster says goodbye as Spikey, the German Sheperd rescued 

by the Fire Department during the recent heavy rains, is reunited with his 

owners at the Seaaca Animal Care and Control in Downey

Spikey, the lucky dog rescued from the flooded L.A. River during heavy rains Jan. 22, has been returned to his owners. The 4-year-old German shepherd mix had been under quarantine at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority shelter in Downey since shortly after he was pulled from the river to monitor him for signs of rabies after he bit the firefighter who saved him.

Animal control authorities presented Spikey to his owner, Maria Medina, and her family in a ceremony Tuesday. Although he hadn't acted aggressively since the Jan. 22 incident, Spikey was muzzled for the occasion.

Spikey and Medina's other dog, a Labrador retriever named Polo, apparently escaped her backyard when her grandchildren left a gate open. Polo was found wandering loose on the day Spikey was rescued from the river and was impounded by animal control officials, who agreed to return him to Medina's care once she cleaned up her backyard.

A family friend reclaimed Spikey at the SEAACA shelter last week on Medina's behalf, but the dog remained at the shelter for several additional days.

When the friend arrived at the shelter, Spikey "just went crazy, his tail flapping," the organization's director of operations, Aaron Reyes, told our sister blog L.A. Now. "We see it all the time: Gosh, he really knows this guy."

The firefighter, Joe St. Georges, suffered a fractured thumb and lost a fingernail during the dramatic river rescue, which was broadcast live on many TV news stations. He told reporters that he didn't blame the dog, however, because "[he's] cold, he's wet, he's scared, and then here's this stranger jumping on his back for all intents and purposes, and he did what dogs do."

Photo gallery: Dog rescue in L.A. River

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo: Maria Medina and Ramon Medina look on as animal care technician Stephanie Webster says goodbye to Spikey during a ceremony Feb. 2. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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Now that's what I call empathy! Kudos to Mr. St Georges.

Not to sound cynical, but there's something fishy about this story. Not one, but two dogs have gone missing and during that time this lady didn't bother to check with animal control (where her Labrador was being held). Also, in previous reports on this story, it was stated that if the owner came forward and was able to produce a current rabies certificate, the German Shepard would have been turned over to her. She finally surfaces but the dog is still required to remain under quarantine. In addition to that, officials would not immediately release the Lab because her backyard was such a mess. It sounds like this may be a slack pet owner. I hate to see people take on the responsibility of pet ownership if they are not going to provide for all of the pet's needs in a responsible and caring manner.

I do not believe these people should be allowed to have these dogs back, they do NOT sound like they care much for the dogs. They should have had ID on the dogs, kept their gates locked and had their yard clean to start with. I would have NEVER given them the dogs back. Sounds like all the dogs do is stay in the messed up back yard.

I was going to say the same thing that it turns out Deece already said. There's something about this story that just doesn't add up. I'm concerned for these dogs.

This dog Spikey looks IDENTICAL to my dog, who is a German Shepherd mix as well.....makes me wonder, was Spikey originally from the Dallas/Ft Worth area in Texas?


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