Residents couldn’t believe their eyes when they spotted a dog hanging from an apartment balcony in Tampa, Florida. And there was a collective gasp the moment the dangling dog finally fell three stories. But a group of quick-thinking Good Samaritans made sure the tiny pup landed safely.
Concerned residents of the Trio Encore Apartments in Tampa started gathering when they realized a Shih Tzu was in extreme peril.
“It was like something out of a movie or something,” Frank Ellison recalled. “I didn’t think it would happen to me in a hundred years.”
Frank called his grandma, Terlisa Perry, while other bystanders phoned the police. Someone thought to grab a sheet and a group of Good Samaritans, including two Tampa police officers, congregated beneath the dangling dog.
“The dog was extremely scared,” Frank said. “It was hanging from its hind legs actually so its whole body was out, it actually took about 35 to 40 minutes for the dog to actually take that leap of faith.”
Nervewracking Dangling Dog Rescue
The minutes ticked by, filled with spine-tingling suspense, as the group waited to see if the pup would fall.
“To see that little dog up there broke my heart,” Officer Jay Hollman said. “Looked like he was contemplating, then his legs gave out.”
Who knows whether fatigue finally won out or the dog decided to jump. Either way, the tiny pup plummeted three stories to the strangers below. Thankfully, the group was in just the right spot to safely catch the dog in the sheet!
WATCH: Good Samaritans Rescue Dangling Dog
“I’m just thankful that God placed them in the right place at the right time,” Terlisa Perry said once the pup was safe.
But that wasn’t the only happy ending for this tiny dog!
The night of the rescue, no one could get a hold of the dog’s owner. But it was clearly a bad situation because days after the fall, the pup’s condition worried veterinarians deeply. They weren’t confident he’d survive.
“He was severely malnourished, dehydrated, emaciated; he wasn't eating, he wasn't drinking, lethargic,” new owner Mark Bolton said. “When they first took him in they could only feed him through IV foods and fluids he couldn't eat anything.”
The pup, now named Phoenix, went to a rescue organization where he’d be properly looked after. And several weeks later, God blessed this furry warrior with a forever home.
Traumatized Pup Gets A New Home
Mark and Barbara Bolton were attending a local farmer’s market when they came upon the rescue group.
“Phoenix came running up to me,” Brenda explained. “I was kneeling down, and he put his little paws right up on my knees, and that was it for me. He looked a little scruffy. He wasn't exactly an attractive dog at that point, but there was something about him.”
A few days later, the Bolton’s adopted Phoenix. But they had no idea he was the infamous “dangling dog”. It wasn’t until the rescue group mentioned it that a quick internet search revealed Phoenix’s traumatic past.
“When we saw the video it was really sad, heartbreaking, that a dog that is so affectionate, so playful so emotional so attached to humans would be left out and not cared for,” Mike said.
But thankfully, God used the pup’s terrifying close call to bring him into a loving, safe home. And we are so glad Phoenix can no live happily ever after!
WATCH: Dangling Dog Gets A New Home
h/t: ABC Action News