As firefighters Matt Harvey, Michael Cooper and their crew were going door-to-door to check on people, they spotted Panda in about 12 feet of water that had overflowed from a creek.
“The dog wasn’t with a family,” Battalion Chief Thayer Smith told ABCNews.com. “It was out swimming in the water, and as the crews were rescuing people they rescued that dog.”
Panda was taken to a temporary shelter set up by the Austin Humane Society. According to its Facebook page, she has a microchip and hopefully will be reunited with her family soon.
A photo of the rescue taken by department photographer Preston Colber and posted on the Austin Fire Department’s Facebook page is going viral, with more than 3,200 this afternoon.
“Dealing with pets is nothing new for us,” Smith told ABCNews.com. “It’s just something we do. Austin is a very dog-friendly city. We know that pets are important to our community so, in turn, they’re important to us.”
When several Colorado counties were flooded in September, the rescue effort was similarly dog friendly – in fact, its motto was, “No Pet Left Behind.” More than 800 pets were airlifted to safety via helicopters. Some brave responders even carried dogs and cats on a zip line to get across flooded rivers.
To make a donation to help the Austin Humane Society care for dogs displaced by the floods there, click here.