News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Letter carrier goes neck-deep to save dogs from canal

RANCHO SANTA FE — While rain, snow, and dark-of-night will not prevent a letter carrier from completing his (or her) appointed rounds, two Chihuahuas struggling to survive in a flooded ditch are a different matter. Now Spring and Rain are available for adoption at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
“A letter carrier in Visalia was driving her mail truck during a rain storm when she spotted two small dogs by the side of the road,” said John Van Zante, a spokesman for Helen Woodward Animal Center. “They looked wet, but otherwise safe. The United States Postal Service does not allow carriers to pick up stray animals in their vehicles, so this carrier made a mental note of where the dogs were, then she completed her rounds.”
“After delivering her mail, the carrier went back to the place where she had seen the dogs,” Adoptions Manager LaBeth Thompson continued the story. “She didn’t think they could have gone very far so she walked up over a ridge and saw one of the dogs in a canal ditch that was filled with water from the rain storm.”
“Our friends at Love of Animals, an all-volunteer pet adoption organization in Visalia, tell us that the rescuer was a small woman … about 100 pounds,” Van Zante said. “She jumped into the canal to rescue the dog, but found herself up to her neck in cold, murky water. Someone saw her struggling toward the dog. Together they rescued that dog and another dog that was, by that time, at the edge of the water, dripping wet.”
The mail carrier turned both dogs over to Love of Animals. After making sure the dogs did not need medical care, LOA transferred to dogs to Helen Woodward Animal Center where they are available for adoption.
“The two, small, blonde Chihuahuas arrived here March 17,” Thompson said. “Because of their circumstances we have named them Spring and Rain. But we’re forecasting a bright future for both of these little survivors.”
To meet Spring and Rain and other orphaned dogs and cats in need of loving families, visit Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe, call (858) 756-4117, or visit