Roller dam rescue saves stranded dog in Maquoketa


Rescuers were able to save a stranded dog after a two-day ordeal at Lakehurst Dam in Maquoketa on Thursday.

For the Pit Bull mix, it's loud and lonely above the Maquoketa River.

The recent mother forced to live on the ledge with no way out.

"I cannot even imagine or fathom what is going through her head," said Patricia Howell, who summoned help through Facebook posts.  "She has got to be just frozen."

Nobody really knows how the dog got there, but there are clues at the scene.

"I think she was probably placed there," Howell continued.  "If she would have jumped, she would be downstream by now."

As more than a dozen volunteers gathered at the scene, some took matters into their own hands to attempt a river rescue.

James Meisland, 15, suited up, stepped out and walked a literal tightrope near the swirling current.

Despite a few tries, the dog retreated close to the edge.

"It's super skittish," Meisland said later.  "I walked up close and got about five to 10 feet away."

It became a nervous time on shore as onlookers swapped ideas and hoped for a solution.

"Animals are just like humans," Howell said.  "They deserve kindness."

Minutes later, the Jackson County Humane Society arrives by boat.

Nick Meyer could sense the fear in the exhausted dog.

"Scared, very scared," he recalled.

About a minute later, they were able to reach up and rescue the exhausted dog.

"She's worn out, so I imagine she's probably going to sleep most of the rest of the day and get something to eat," Meyer said.

Back on land, there's relief, excitement and hope for the dog's future.

"Everyone who helped, thank you," Howell said.

Contact the Jackson County Humane Society at: for information about adopting the dog.

This lucky girl will be ready for a new home in about 10 days.