SRP worker saves 2 dogs trapped in Phoenix grate, rushing water

Apr 15, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 8:09 am
(SRP Photo) (SRP Photo) Ruben Cecena (SRP Photo) (SRP Photo)

PHOENIX – A utility company worker in Phoenix who went on a routine assignment to clear out a grate instead found two dogs in need of rescue.

“It felt good to help them,” Salt River Project water delivery employee Ruben Cecena said in a press release Thursday. He found the Labrador retrievers trapped in rushing water in a grate near 27th Avenue and Elliot Road a week ago.

Cecena, 62, then embarked on a mission that tapped his resourcefulness and ingenuity.

He went back to his truck to get a gancho, a hooklike tool used to remove trash and other debris that blocks a canal.

Cecena managed to snag one of the dogs, a white 70-pounder, by the collar and pull it to safety.

Getting the second dog proved more difficult. The collar came off the animal while Cecena was trying to catch it with the gancho.

He headed back to his truck a second time and returned with handful of boards that he laid down over the grate.

The black dog was too tired to climb out on his own.

Eventually, Cecena angled himself to push the dog from behind using the flattened part of the gancho.

All the while, the other dog stayed close by.

“The dogs were devoted to each other. The white dog wasn’t going to leave until his buddy was out,” Cecena said.

The two dogs then ran off towards a farm field, he said.

“Every life is important. When someone or something needs help, you help.”

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SRP worker saves 2 dogs trapped in Phoenix grate, rushing water