Biggie, A German Shepherd, Rescued After Days Spent In LA River


After many years spent as a volunteer in numerous animal shelters, all I can say is that many owners don’t take the responsibility of having a dog seriously.

That’s why we’re over swamped with homeless dogs, hopeless strays, and pups begging for a second chance.

Biggie, a handsome German Shepherd, was no exception. His story began in a not-so-beautiful place —the Los Angeles riverbed, where he was left by his previous owners.

But, luck didn’t turn its back on Biggie, not just yet. Fortunately for him, the water level was dropping down with each day, and Biggie had a chance. He could move around.

Still, he was trapped, with no way out.

The riverbed was inaccessible to humans, and Biggie was getting weaker by the minute, lacking food.

Fortunately, the agony didn’t take forever. Biggie was saved!

If it wasn’t for the brave volunteers of the Hope for Paws organization, Biggie would be just another part of the stray dog statistics.

Biggie’s story was special in one segment – he was already exhausted and on the edge of giving up. But, thanks to these selfless dog lovers – he made it.

Here’s how his rescue went!

Biggie Was Trapped In The Riverbed For Days

When the HP team arrived on the spot, they learned that Biggie had been wandering up and down the riverbed for days. Local people were throwing him some food so he wouldn’t starve, but they couldn’t get this black-and-cream beauty out.

In order to rescue him from the river, volunteers needed to climb down the twenty-foot-tall bank without any safety gear. They used a ladder they found in the neighborhood. It was half-broken so they tied it together with the leash and put it down.

It seemed like a pretty doable job at first, but in reality, it wasn’t quite easy to do it. In order to climb down the half-broken ladder, the HP volunteer needed to overleap the fence first, and be extremely careful during the climb.

When he finally reached the bottom, he saw that Biggie was quite exhausted and scared of him. So, he needed to take things slow.

He Was Reluctant To Leave

rescued dog standing outdoor
Photo from:

We can only guess why Biggie was so scared and reluctant to approach his savior, but I can tell you one thing with certainty – GSDs don’t get scared that easily!

Biggie’s fear was deeply rooted in some of the previous traumas he experienced along the way. But, he was partially exhausted, too, which added to his overall state of mind. 

Still, with a little bit of convincing and a little bit of experience with dogs, the volunteer succeeded! He first offered Biggie some food to establish trust, which was warmly accepted by this beautiful canine.

A Touching Moment Between Biggie And A Volunteer

man cuddling dog
Photo from:

All heartwarming stories have their peak, and this was the cherry on top of this one! Biggie and the volunteer shared a beautiful couple of moments prior to his rescue. After he fed him, Biggie approached the volunteer, lied down, closed his eyes, and let the volunteer pet him.

It was that exact moment when Biggie let go and surrendered to his savior. It was as if he knew that everything was gonna be okay after that! 

GSDs are masters of intuition and perceiving things, which is why it was not difficult for Biggie to realize that the volunteering crew was there to help him. 

In a way, he showed affection, but simply didn’t have enough strength to be more enthusiastic about his rescue. So, the picture that went viral was of him laying down with his eyes closed and his mouth revealing a gentle smile.

Hope For Paws Team Does An Amazing Job

rescuing dog in a cage
Photo from:

Biggie was finally rescued from the Los Angeles river in a box that a couple of volunteers pulled up. He was showing no reluctance or fear anymore, but he was still quite exhausted.

The HP team redirected Biggie to Coastal German Shepherd rescue, and their staff made sure the puppy got sufficient medical care in the center.

Biggie was immediately fed, bathed, and checked for possible diseases. Once a family dog, Biggie was now in the good hands of the Hope for Paws team.

This is not the first time these hard-working animal lovers have done such a thing. They’re helping all kinds of animals on a daily basis, selflessly giving all of their energy to save as many lives as possible.