An English golden retriever named Storm is being hailed a hero, reports CBS New York, after the “caring and loyal” pup rescued another animal who was in danger.
The swift and compassionate 6-year-old dog took matters into his own paws on Sunday morning during what should have been a casual walk on the beach. Storm was with his owner Mark Freeley when they both spotted a fawn struggling too far out in the Long Island Sound, off of Port Jefferson, New York.
“Storm just plunged into the water and started swimming out to the fawn, grabbed it by the neck, and started swimming to shore,” Freeley said. The proud owner said even he was surprised by the dog’s behavior.
Once the baby deer reached the shore, it laid down — and Storm got right down next to it, nudging and pulling on the scared animal as if to make sure it would be okay. Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect: The frightened fawn was likely spooked by the pup, as well as the people gathering to help, and it ran back into the water.
At this point, a group of Good Samaritans, including Freeley, Frank Floridia of Strong Island Rescue and his partner Erica Kutznig waded into the water to help the fawn.
“This time it went out even further,” Freeley told CBS.
RELATED VIDEO: Watch PEOPLE Pet Vet Dr. Evan Antin Transform this Emaciated Stray into a Healthy, Happy Pet
The men used rope to lasso the young deer, while Kutznig ran about a mile on the beach. The rescue took around eight minutes, but the humans were depleted by the effort. Freeley said at that point he understood how Storm must’ve felt.
“I don’t think I could’ve done it without the help of my partner. At this point, I was exhausted. My knee blew out, and I collapsed on the beach,” Floridia said. Meanwhile, Kutznig carried the fawn, who was covered in ticks and suffering from an eye injury, back to their van.
The young animal is currently being cared for at an area wildlife agency until it is in better shape, while Storm the dog enjoys his newfound fame.