NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - A daring rescue on Friday plucked a lost dog from an island near the brink of Niagara Falls. "Lily" freaked at the Fourth of July fireworks and disappeared for nine days.
Her owner, Ruth Allen, said, "Actually, normally she's a very good dog."
Lily is a Border Collie-Pointer mix that Allen and Albert Fields adopted from the Niagara County SPCA just last month. But when they took the 7-month-old to Goat Island on the Fourth of July, she bolted at the sound of the first firework, breaking her leash.
They searched with Park Police that night and the next morning but couldn't find her. With no sign of her for over a week, Fields said, "I was starting to lose hope."
But Niagara County SPCA animal control officer Gary Burkett smiled, "It's the luckiest Friday the 13th ever."
Of all the tourists on Three Sisters Island in Niagara Falls State Park, it was a veterinarian from Rochester, Dr. Gino Sementa, who spotted the dog across the rapids on Little Brother Island and notified Park Police.
"And they said they had a stray confined. Well, I didn't know it was confined to it's own island," Burkett joked.
Lily had somehow crossed a narrow but swift current. Park Police tied their rigging to a tree and rode the swift rapids out until they could get back to the shore of the island. Park Police were in the rapids, working about 200 yards from the brink of the Falls, to rescue the dog.
>>Watch the second video with this story to see more of the daring rescue operation
Lt. Clyde Doty, who helped rescue Lily, said, "At one point, we both went down in the water, but we were able to make it back out. A lot of us are dog owners, and it's somebody's pet and it's a place where we've been to before. It might look dangerous and it sometimes is, but we've trained there quite frequently."
Once they got to the island, they spent an hour trying to gain the trust of the dog with hamburger meat before getting a hold of her.
Allen said, "They're heroes, they're really heroes. It was not easy and it put them in danger, too."
Lily is a bit skinnier after nine days on the island, and her owners know the lesson here is don't bring dogs to fireworks, even if they do seem okay with the sound of thunder.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings return today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will stop in Buffalo to make an announcement about a sustainable homes program.
State Education Commissioner John King is on his way to Buffalo. He is coming for a forum on the Common Core curriculum, downtown Thursday.