COCHITI LAKE, N.M., -- The park rangers with the Albuquerque District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers here had an unusual encounter of the canine kind Oct. 28, when they rescued two dogs, an elderly yellow lab and a younger mixed breed that looked similar to a Border Collie.
Ranger Adrian Glass was on patrol at the recreational site when at about 11:00 a.m. he was “flagged down by a couple of kayakers at the Cochiti Lake boat ramp.” The couple told Glass a dog had jumped into the water upstream at the upper end of the lake and swam out to their kayak. Fearing the dog would drown, they allowed him into their watercraft. They also reported they saw a second dog upstream that needed assistance. One of the dogs had injured his foot.
Glass called for backup assistance and the Sandoval County Animal Control Officer. Glass and Ranger Tim Beauchene, along with the animal control officer, used the project’s patrol boat to rescue the second dog, which was found on the Tetilla Boat Ramp as if waiting for the rangers to rescue it. When the Cochiti Patrol Boat arrived, the dog jumped into the boat, came around the helm, and sat down next to Beauchene as if to say “Thank you, I’m ready to go home now.”
Once the dogs were rescued, the Sandoval County Animal Control officer took control of the dogs. The dogs had no tags and while the officer scanned them for microchips, neither dog had one.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Later in the day, the animal control officer informed the rangers that the dogs’ owner had been identified. The owner lives in the Town of Cochiti Lake, which is very close to the lake. At last report, the animal control officer was in the process of returning the dogs to their owner. The owner is likely to be cited for letting them roam away from his property. The Corps could also cite the owner for allowing animals onto the Cochiti Project not on a leash per Title 36 Regulations. That is not likely to happen; as the Corps park rangers are all just happy that they played a role in returning these obviously gently, well trained, and intelligent dogs to their proper home.
This rescue is a great reminder that while pets are welcome at the Cochiti Lake recreation area, they must be kept on a leash at all times!