Fontana Police Department Animal Service Officer Isabel Jimenez was honored recently for her heroic actions in saving the life of a dog.
Jimenez was named one of the August Employees of the Month and was recognized at the Sept. 24 City Council meeting.
On Aug. 13, while Jimenez was on her way to a call, she looked in her rearview mirror and observed a small pug chasing her vehicle. Isabel pulled over and while exiting her vehicle, she noticed the pug turn around and run, heading the other direction.
She followed the dog to the front yard of a residence, where she observed another pug struggling to swim in a pond.
Jimenez, seeing that the dog was completely submerged, without hesitation jumped into the pond to save the dog. She did not realize how deep the pond was and found herself also submerged, body worn camera and all.
She was able to grab the pug and place it on the bridge next to the pond while struggling to get out of the water. Once out of the pond, she quickly checked the pug's breathing and determined that mouth to snout was not necessary as the dog was breathing.
Jimenez said she was worried for the dog's health as pugs are brachycephalic (smash face) and cannot keep their muzzles above water and swim at the same time. The pug's mate who led the officer to the pond stayed beside his mate during the rescue. Both dogs were reunited with their owners, who expressed sincere gratitude to Jimenez for her quick actions, calling her their "hero."
The owners transported the dog to the veterinarian and later reported the dog suffered from water in the lungs, and if the dog had been submerged any longer it could have drowned due to its breed. Treatment was provided to the pet.
"Isabel's quick actions saved this dog's life," said Fontana Police Chief Billy Green. "Isabel acted with compassion, urgency, and went above and beyond to save this dog. Isabel works very hard to demonstrate to our community we care. She is worthy of this commendation."