Video: Florida officer rescues coyote that was floundering in water at Sarasota Bay

Coyote was initially mistaken for dog

A waterlogged coyote that was trying to doggy paddle its way back to land while lost in Sarasota Bay got a helping hand from a local police officer.

SARASOTA, Fla. – A water-logged coyote that was trying to doggy paddle its way back to land while lost in Sarasota Bay got a helping hand from a police officer.

The Sarasota Police Department said a concerned charter captain called in Tuesday around 8 a.m. about a possible dog stranded in New Pass, so Officer Ron Dixon from the marine patrol unit went to investigate.

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Dixon spotted the struggling canine and jumped in the water to try to capture it but the coyote got away.

A short time later, Dixon took another dip to try to wrangle the animal and this time realized it was a coyote, not a dog, that he was after.

Still, a now-drenched Dixon stuck with his plan to rescue the creature.

File this under you can't make this up and only in Florida. It's a quick video and you may have to watch it more than...

Posted by Sarasota Police Department on Saturday, February 27, 2021

He used the patrol boat to guide the coyote back to shore. Once reunited with dry land, the coyote sprinted into the woods at Ken Thompson Park around 9:30 a.m.

Commenters on Facebook applauded Dixon for his bravery.

“I know they are considered a nuisance but I’m glad you saved him from that horrible death,” one woman wrote.

“Bless you for saving the coyote,” another said.

Sarasota Police Department public information officer Genevieve Judge said she’s grateful for the positive feedback.

“We’re so appreciative of our community and social media followers and the kindness they are showing by thanking Officer Dixon. Our officers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect all humans and all animals,” Judge said.

While it may have been the first coyote rescue of its kind, Sarasota officers are no stranger to animal encounters. A few weeks ago, Dixon pulled a hook out of a seagull and ended up getting nipped before the bird flew away.

“Officer Dixon is one of two officers assigned to our Marine Patrol Unit. He and Officer Michael Skinner work diligently to protect our waterways in and around the city of Sarasota. While a coyote swimming isn’t something we normally see in our waterways, the men and women of the Sarasota Police Department are prepared for anything, including raccoons on channel markers or a coyote taking a morning swim. You just never know what the day will bring,” Judge said.

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