On Monday, June 30, KOMO 4 News reported that a Washington State woman drowned while trying to rescue her dog from the Wenatchee River. According to the Chelan County Sheriff, Sabra Crafton of Cashmere, Wash. had been tossing a stick to her dog when the dog began to struggle in the river.
A male friend told Sheriff Brian Burnett that he tried to reach Crafton, 29, on Monday afternoon, nearly bringing her back to shore when she began to struggle in the water, as well. Crafton broke away to make another attempt to rescue her dog.
The dog made its way to shore and survived, while Crafton was later located by a kayaker. She was submerged in the river near a bridge and pulled out of the water. While rescuers performed CPR, firefighters and medics were not able to revive her. Crafton was reportedly not wearing a life jacket.
With warmer weather for the months ahead, the ASPCA has several tips for water safety with dogs. The organization suggests not leaving any pets unsupervised in the water, as not all animals are strong swimmers. It also advises using life jackets for dogs as well as for people.
Sadly, similar deaths have already occurred nationwide this spring and summer. In Florida, a man drowned while trying to save his Boxer in the water. His dog did survive the incident. In Colorado, a woman drowned trying to save a dog in an irrigation ditch. The dog also survived this incident. Another man in Florida rescued his dog from drowning, but then the man went under the water. His body was found later.
Dog life jackets are widely available for pet owners who take their dogs swimming. According to Boat U.S. Magazine, life jackets for dogs have become hugely popular. Many stores have canine life jackets in stock, including West Marine.
Canine life jackets are especially recommended for older dogs and for dogs with issues such as hip dysplasia. If you are purchasing a life jacket for one of your pets, ensure that it is properly fitted.