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

Apr 15, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 8:09 am

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.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Two Tucson men sentenced after highway death of 17-year-old...

Two Arizona human smugglers sentenced after 17-year-old died on highway

Two Tucson men are responsible for the death of a 17-year-old undocumented migrant, authorities announced on Tuesday.

14 minutes ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Michael Bidwill talks Cardinals origin, 2024 draft and community outreach

On this episode of Amazing Arizonans, Mike Broomhead has a great conversation with CEO of the Arizona Cardinals, Michael Bidwill.

24 minutes ago

Split image of a headshot of Junelle Cavero on the left and a sign on the wall of the state capitol...

Kevin Stone

Arizona House Democratic caucus back to full strength with Junelle Cavero’s appointment

The Arizona House Democratic caucus is back to full strength after Junelle Cavero was appointed Tuesday to fill a vacant south Phoenix seat.

34 minutes ago

The Phoenix Zoo's baby goats have been named after the public made their selections. (Phoenix Zoo P...

Danny Shapiro

Here’s what the public decided to name the baby goats at the Phoenix Zoo

Five baby goats born at the Phoenix Zoo last month now have names after more than 3,300 people voted on each set of kids.

44 minutes ago

A Phoenix kindergarten teacher was named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos' Pay T...

Phoenix kindergarten teacher wins Bruce and Gaydos’ teacher tribute for March

A Phoenix kindergarten teacher was named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos' Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for March, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

9 hours ago

The closure began after reports alerted authorities of a man climbing the I-10 bridge near 7th Aven...

WB I-10 lanes reopen, EB lanes still closed after freeway fence climber causes shutdown

A man who climbed the I-10 freeway bridge near 7th Avenue caused a shutdown of both the eastbound and westbound lanes Tuesday night.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

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