NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A fishing trip turned into a rescue mission for one local man, after he spotted a dog struggling in the waters of Noisette Creek in North Charleston.
"He was about dead. Probably seconds. I don't think minutes - he didn't have that," Alton Ledlow says.
Ledlow was about to start fishing in the creek on Sunday morning, when he says he saw a dog with its face barely above water.
"I just threw everything out of my pockets, kicked my shoes off and ran and jumped out in that water," he says.
But Ledlow was hampered by injuries sustained four years ago, when he was struck by a drunk driver.
"I couldn't kick so much with my legs because I can't really feel it and then you've got the cold water," he says. "And the neck pain was too much for me to lift him up."
Upon reaching the dog in the water, Ledlow says he realized the dog appeared to be the victim of abuse.
"Someone had fashioned a stick through [a harness] and taken old netting on both sides of the stick and tied it to the stick and weighed it down with heavy rocks," he said, noting the dog also appeared extremely underweight.
After freeing the dog and paddling him to the bank, Ledlow called North Charleston Animal Control.
Another emaciated-looking dog was also found on-scene.
North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said that one dog was transported to the Charleston Animal Society and the other to an emergency veterinarian.
Charleston Animal Society spokeswoman Kay Hyman said both dogs are currently in the care of the center. She said both dogs are emaciated and the dog found in the water had aspirated water and is currently suffering from pneumonia.
Pryor said Animal Control concluded that because no evidence was found to lead investigation to believe there was a malicious intent to drown the dogs.
Ledlow said the weighted contraption is likely at the bottom of the creek.