Austin Russell has a New Year ritual where he goes on a bike ride along the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This year, he noticed some unusual splashing in the river while passing by and stopped to investigate.
Austin was shocked to see a dog drowning mid-river. The poor pup was tangled in the broken branches, vigorously trying to break free.
Austin called the cops but he knew that the dog needed immediate help. He decided to jump into the freezing waters to rescue the dog himself!
Meanwhile, the dog freed himself from the branches and started wading along the break wall. After some tense moments, Austin was somehow able to grab the dog by his neck and pull him out to safety!
The grateful dog was shivering uncontrollably, but that didn’t stop him from hugging his angel rescuer to thank him! Austin held the freezing dog close to warm him up and signaled passing cars for help.
Soon, a family stopped and helped the dog get warm with their spare hoodies and blankets. Together, they took the dog to Kent County Animal Shelter.
At the shelter, Austin discovered that the dog is a missing Pit Bull-Husky mix named Max. He has now been happily reunited with his owners and is now safe in his cozy home.
When Austin shared this rescue on social media, it quickly went viral – garnering over 11 million views! Austin hopes that his little act of kindness inspires people to help animals whenever they can! Bravo!
Click the video below to watch Austin’s heroic rescue mission of the drowning Max!