A Lake County sheriff’s animal enforcement officer is being lauded for rescuing a dog that was trapped in an alligator-infested swampy marsh in the Bassville Park area in Leesburg.
Officer Amy Riccio on Jan. 8 responded to the call after being told that the dog was on an island clinging to a log. Neighbors reported hearing the dog initially before spotting it from a neighbor’s dock, a report states.
Knowing what lurked in the swamp, they were concerned the alligators would get to the dog before help could arrive. Riccio immediately began formulating a plan to save the dog and, without hesitation, entered the thick brush of the swamp and used 2-by-4 boards to build a makeshift bridge to get to the island where the dog was located.
Riccio was able to quickly gain the dog’s trust before she hoisted the animal onto her shoulders and carried it back across the unstable bridge, where she and the dog were safely rescued. The young dog was taken to the Lake County Animal Shelter until its owner could be located.