Friday May 18, 2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- An animal rights group is honoring a New Hampshire fire department's heroic rescue efforts of a dog.

A man was walking his 6-year-old dog, Sam, in Arms Park in Manchester last week when the dog was let off the leash and dashed toward the Merrimack River, getting caught up in the cold current. The river is surrounded by a high wall, so he couldn't escape.

Joel Monroe of the Manchester Fire Department rappelled down the wall, waded into the water and secured Sam. A rescue boat retrieved the dog and took him safely back to shore.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is giving its Compassionate Action Award to the department. It's also sending oxygen masks specially designed for dogs, cats and other animals.