State trooper climbs into fishing boat to rescue family’s stranded dog

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Trooper Robertson and Diesel after the rescue

PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. (Jan. 25, 2016) – An Indiana State trooper went above and beyond the call of duty to rescue a lost family dog that became stranded on a river bank.

On Jan. 8, Trooper Ted Robertson received a call about a dog named Diesel. The dog’s owners, Don and Sandy Knauer, said Diesel had been frightened by a thunderstorm and ran off on Dec. 26, 2015. Family members had been searching for him ever since, posting flyers in the area and on social media.

Diesel ended up on the east bank of the Wabash River across from the Duke Energy Plant. The plant is in Vermillion County while Diesel was in Parke County, on the other side of the river. A Duke Energy employee reported seeing the dog; his wife notified the Knauer family to let them know that they may have spotted Diesel.

Trooper Ted Robertson

Trooper Ted Robertson

The family tried to get help from several different law enforcement agencies to rescue the stranded dog, but they kept running into roadblocks. They contacted Trooper Robertson, who was off-duty but came to the scene. Though the water was high and temperatures were falling, Robertson took his personal fishing boat to the public access boat ramp along State Road 234.

Robertson guided the boat through the darkness for about a mile and reached the area near Diesel. Seconds after his owners called his name, Diesel reached the boat and was rescued.

The Knauer family sent a letter of appreciation to command staff at the Putnamville Post where Robertson works. They’re still not sure how Diesel made it to the east bank of the river, given that the family lives on the other side.

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