Rower rescues dogs from Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park

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Rower rescues dogs from Shuylkill River in Fairmount Park. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on August 19, 2017. (WPVI)

Two dogs rescued from the Schuylkill River are now on their way to an adoptive home in New Jersey.

Good Samaritan Marqus Brown shepherded the sister dogs into a waiting car that would transport them to their new family.

Brown had been taking care of the canines since saving them from a precarious position in the river.

Marqus Brown trains with the Penn AC boat club and is an assistant coach for BLJ Community Rowing.

He was called to the river at 6 a.m. Thursday after his boss found two female Rottweilers stranded in the water near a public dock adjacent to the St. Joseph's University Boat House.

They were standing in shallow water next to the stone wall lining the river bank.

They appeared to have been stuck there overnight, Brown said, and were cold, wet and hungry. One was barking loudly.

"I think somebody abandoned them, but I really don't want to think that," said Brown. "I want to think they got really, really far and happened to fall in the water and couldn't find their way back up."

Brown called police and animal control, thinking that would take care of the problem.

But when he returned at 3 p.m., the dogs were still there.

Brown sprang into action.

He looped a line around one of the dog's necks, put a tarp in the water and guided her onto it. He then hoisted the dog onto the dock.

Brown says the other dog, which had been barking fiercely, calmed down when it saw the other dog on the dock.

Brown was able to coax the second dog onto the tarp and hoist her out of the water in the same way.

"Oh, it was one of my proudest moments. It was good just seeing those dogs get up on the dock," he said.

No owner ever appeared, so Brown took both dogs to his home in West Oak Lane, where he was caring for them.

Ironically, Brown says his friends call him the Rottweiler whisper, because he has a 2-year-old Rottweiler named Mocha.

"I already had it in my mind that if they are still there I am going to save them some way, somehow. After that I said, 'OK, this is meant to be let me save these dogs,'" he said.

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Watch the report from Gray Hall on Action News at 4 p.m. on August 18, 2017.

Audra Houghton, with Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia says the initial report came in of loose dogs.

She says by the time her crews made it to the scene, the dogs had fallen into the water and Brown had already taken them home.

Houghton says Brown did all the right things. She commends him for a having a big heart, and opening up his home to the dogs.

"Having a citizen that is this concerned for these animals and wants to help in the community allows us to focus on animals that are in more need in our shelters," said Houghton. "So it does help us with space issues and keeps them from being exposed to potential illnesses or others things that could happen in the shelter."

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pets-animalsphiladelphia newsdogwater rescueCenter City Philadelphia
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