The small sandy stretch that borders Huntington and Newport beaches has always been a peaceful place. Madi McNaughton would bring her 150-pound mastiff, Rupert, whom she calls “my baby” for a fun outing. Never did she think a day at the beach would turn tragic.
She said she was forced to let her pup Rupert drown after he got caught in a storm drain in Orange County. The poor dog got sucked into a Newport Beach flood gate and died, and she’s still wishing she could have done something differently to save Rupert.
The Huntington Beach dog owner now wants to warn others of the danger, and is hoping officials will close off the storm drain she said could be a hazard for a small child, or even an adult.
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NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — It’s only been three days since Madi McNaughton’s rescue dog Rupert was sucked into a Newport Beach flood gate and died, and she’s still wishing she could have done something differently to save her dog.
McNaughton’s now covered in cuts and scrapes from diving in after the 150-pound Mastiff mix, risking her own life in the process.
“I’m livid that my daughter almost died, and God help me if she died,” said Dawna McNaughton, Madi’s mother. “It’s bad enough that dog’s gone.”
McNaughton said that Thursday morning she went down to the beach where the Santa Ana River lets out into the ocean.
She says a sudden, large wave pulled the 3-year-old dog all the way through the gate to the other side that’s grated.
She and her dog rescue community are terrified a tragedy will strike another family.
“Just minutes before I got here with my dogs to throw their ball, there was a dad and his two kids playing in this exact water that got him swept into that water,” McNaughton said. “That could’ve been those kids. He was way bigger than those kids were.”
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