Good Samaritan Leaves His Own Birthday Party To Save Dog Drowning In River

Gabe Castellanos’ 38th birthday gathering was slated to be nothing more than a celebration along New York City’s East River. However, it became much more than that, as he went from guest of honor to hero.

Along with family and friends, Gabe was enjoying the day when they noticed a lone dog in the river. A frightened two-year-old Harper had entered the water after fleeing from the scene when his dog-walker was hit by a car.

As Castellanos and his group noticed the dog struggling, he sprung into action after his brother casually suggested he assist. After finding a life jacket and bolting to the middle of the bridge, Gabe carefully selected where to make his entry into the water.

By this time, a curious crowd had collected to watch the fascinating scene unfold. Upon nearing the canine, Gabe was bitten when Harper lunged at his face.

She managed a bite and hit him squarely in his mouth with her jaw, but he understood that she was acting out of fear and not aggression, and he continued the rescue efforts.

He latched onto Harper’s collar and guided her to the shoreline as onlookers applauded. Harper’s owner, Erin O’Donnell, later said that she is “forever grateful” for the birthday boy’s undertaking.

When speaking to WLNY, O’Donnell said that Harper had never been swimming before, and per the video footage shot by bystander Lorenzo Fonda, it seemed as if she was struggling to keep her head above water.

Harper did sustain minor injuries on her paws and must wear protective booties while her paws heal. Castellanos also has some healing to do, but he believes his injuries were worth it. He said, “Even if it’s not my pet, I would do it again. One hundred percent.”

He will need dental work stemming from the dog’s jaw making contact with his front teeth when she lunged. Harper’s dog-walker is said to be recovering well from the minor injuries sustained in the car accident.

Not everyone has the determination to help out a troubled animal they do not know. Let others read about Harper’s rescue to inspire selfless acts among those you hold dear.