Brave Dog Sees Drowning Deer – His Reaction Will Leave You In Awe

It’s a widely known fact that dogs are among the most loyal and caring animals out there. In fact, every now and then, we hear shocking news of how dogs heroically save people’s lives either from burning buildings, from drowning, or things of the sort. But it turns out that dogs don’t just look after humans, but they do the same with other species as well! This is a story of a Golden Retriever who noticed that a creature was drowning in a lake… his reaction will surprise you!

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

#20. Mark And His Pooches

40-year-old Mark Freely lives in Long Island with his two dogs, Storm and Sara. He has been a dog lover ever since he was a child, and taking his pooches on long walks has always been one of his favorite hobbies.

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

Storm and Sara are both extremely adorable and loyal, but one morning, they behaved in the most unexpected way. Freeley was taking them on a walk along the river, when Storm, the Golden Retriever, jumped into the water to fetch what looked like a log. But it wasn’t a log, not even close!

#19.Out For A Swim

At first, Freeley wasn’t surprised nor worried, as he knew that Storm loved to dive into the water. Therefore, the first thing he did was to record everything on video. He realized his dog seemed to be focusing on something in the water, but he couldn’t quite distinguish what it was exactly.

Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times

Freeley figured it was a toy or a log, so as the dog swam towards the object, he said to him: “Good boy, Storm!“. But you won’t believe what the pooch was actually about to fetch!

#18. Fetcher In Nature

If two things define Golden Retrievers, it is that they love to fetch things and that they love water. And if they can do both things at once, they’ll be as happy as they can be! And obviously, Storm was no exception.

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

Storm simply loved fetching things from the water and giving it to his owner. In fact, Freeley loved uploading videos on social networks of his dog fetching the most unusual objects. But this time, he was in for a big surprise. Long Island’s waters were hiding something other than a mere stick!

#17. It Wasn’t Just A Log!

Storm reached the lump that was underwater and grabbed it with his mouth. Then, he carried it towards the shore where his owner was, probably looking for his approval. But guess what? Freeley soon realized that what Storm had in his mouth was a baby fawn.

Photo: Courtesy of Tree Hugger

Freeley was awestruck and wasn’t sure how to react. To begin with, even though Storm wasn’t an aggressive dog, he was afraid that he would attack or hurt the little deer. Therefore, he said to his pooch: “Storm, bring him in! Storm, bring him in! Good boy, Storm, bring him in!“.

#16. Video Goes Viral

The video documenting the event can be seen on Facebook and YouTube and it received over 5.2 million people (he’s basically a celebrity!) If you watch it, you’ll hear Freeley saying: “Storm is trying to save this baby deer — I think he’s trying to save him”.

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

The video went so viral that different local and international media contacted Freeley and asked him for an interview. The dog’s owner narrated the events on one of these many interviews:

“[He] plunged into the water and started swimming out to the fawn, grabbed it by the neck, and started swimming to shore“, Freeley said.

#15. The Hero Of The Day

Storm swam to the shore with the fawn on his mouth and dragged him to the sand. The deer seemed like he was struggling to survive and he had trouble breathing. Clearly, had it not been for Storm, he wouldn’t have made it!

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

Miraculously, the baby deer managed to get up and attempted to run away from the dogs, but he quickly collapsed to the ground again. Storm’s first reaction was to chase it, but Freeley ordered him to stay where he was. You won’t believe what happened next!

#14. Is He Alive?

Even though his owner had urged him to leave the baby deer alone, Storm had different plans. He seemed to be worried about the little baby animal’s life, so he started nudging it to see whether he reacted.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

As Freeley narrated on an interview, the dog “started nudging, and started pulling it to make sure she was gonna be OK I guess“. But this didn’t end here, this was just the beginning! Can you guess what happened next?

#13. A Proud Papa

When Freeley realized his dog was actually trying to save the fawn’s life, he couldn’t have felt prouder. The brave pooch took the baby deer by the neck just like a lifeguard would place his arm over a person’s neck to drag it to safety.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

Then, the dog began licking the little deer, which meant he really cared for him. Without a doubt, Freeley wasn’t lying when he said that Storm is “the most gentle, gracious dog you ever want to meet“.

#12. SOS

However, Freeley also realized that he would need to seek professional help if they wanted to save the deer’s life. Therefore, he grabbed his phone and called the Strong Island Animal Rescue League. Fortunately, help came in no time.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

In a matter of minutes, Frank Floridia, the founder and leader of the organization, showed up. He and the co-founder Erica Kutzing appeared equipped with nets and leashes to rescue the little creature. But before they arrived, something unexpected happened.

#11. Animals Of Flight

Before Frank and Erica arrived, the baby deer continued staggering, struggling to walk away. He looked at the two dogs and their owner and quickly rushed towards the water once again. He was just too afraid!

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

In an interview, Frank explained that deer are animals of flight, which means that they tend to run away wherever they can go as soon as someone approaches them. They can even smash through a wooden fence just to flee from danger!

#10. Back To The Water

When Frank and his co-worker arrived, the deer had already submerged itself to the water again. The problem was that Storm was already tired from his previous rescue mission, so the rescuers realized that one of them had to dive into the water.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

Frank and Erica tried to encourage Storm to go back to the water, but apart from his weariness, the deer had now gone so far that Storm could not even see it. Therefore, Frank ran to rescue him. Can you guess what happened next?

#9. Do-Or-Die Situation

This wasn’t the first time that the animal activist had to dive to the water to rescue a drowning animal, so he knew exactly what to do. In his words, he didn’t have much of a choice as it was a true “do-or-die” situation.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

He knew he would never forgive himself if he just let the baby deer drown, so he took a rope and swam towards it. “If I didn’t go in the water, the deer would’ve died“, he later said in an interview. But did the little creature survive? Click next to find out!

#8. Teamwork

Rescuing the deer was far from easy, as Frank had to swim for several minutes until he found it. Thankfully, he was not alone, as his partner, Erica, gave him a hand. In fact, she ran nearly a mile on the beach to help him.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube / Fresh Tube Media

As Frank said in an interview: “I don’t think I could’ve done it without the help of my partner. I was exhausted at the point my knee blew out, and I collapsed on the beach“. After he got out of the water, Frank and Erika took the frightened fawn to the car.

#7. Saved By A Miracle

The fawn had swallowed too much water so he lacked the energy to run away once again, but the rescuers knew that it would attempt to escape as soon as he could. Therefore, Erika tied him to his body, as you can see in the picture below.

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

They took him to the vet immediately. The deer had a few bruises and cuts on his head as well as some ticks, which was a clear sign of nervousness and confusion. The fawn remained for a few days at the Star Foundation, where he was properly treated.

#6. Afraid Of His Own Shadow

As Erica explained in an interview, deer are usually good swimmers. However, the fawn was most likely too young and way too scared in order to survive in the Long Island Sound all by himself.

Photo: Courtesy of SeriousLA

Can you guess how young this poor little deer was? Barely 3 months old! No wonder he scared so easily! Due to his super young age, the animal caretakers at the foundation had to make an important decision.

#5. Gradual Recovery

The deer received proper medical aid at Star Foundation, which is a large and well-known rehab center and wildlife sanctuary in New York. It was diagnosed with subcutaneous emphysema, which is what happens to your body when lots of air gets trapped under the skin.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

The vets at Star Foundation concluded that the fawn would have to stay at least for a month before being released in the wild again. Not only did he have to recover from the emphysema, but from the nervous breakdown as well. Poor thing!

#4. Milk And Grass

But what type of treatment did it receive, exactly? Director of Star Foundation Lori Kotchman explained that the baby deer received treatment with different antibiotics and was given baby goat formula, which he drank from a bowl.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

He was also fed with some grass. After the first week, the fawn had grown used to interacting with the nurses and no longer felt threatened. Look at the picture above: isn’t he the cutest thing ever? Slide next to find out what will happen to him once he recovers.

#3. Celebrity Dog

According to the veterinarians at Star Foundation, the fawn will remain at their facilities for some weeks until he recovers and until he’s old enough to survive on his own in the wild. This could take somewhere between three weeks and two months.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

OK, so now we know that the fawn will be in good hands… but what about Storm? Well, it turns out he’s now one of the most popular doggos in the US! His video received millions of views throughout the world and his story was shared in the news and on social media in dozens of countries.

#2. The True Hero

As rescuer Erica said in one of her interviews, we can all learn something from Storm. Even though we have the rescuers at Strong Island Animal Rescue League and the vets at Star Foundation to thank, Storm was the real hero in this story.

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

If the brave pooch hadn’t jumped to the water in the first place, the fawn would have had a totally different fate, and probably, a more tragic one. Good luck Freeley chose to take him for a walk on the beach that day!


Freeley, the rescuers, and the vets at the Star Foundation are all glad that the fawn is alive and kicking and that Storm helped save his life. Don’t forget to watch the video of the heroic scene, it’s all on YouTube!

Photo: Courtesy of Facebook / Mark Freeley

Happy to see that all went well, Erica concluded: “If we just learn to treat each other nicely and look out for each other, despite our differences, the world would be a better place”. Loud and clear!

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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