Caliber 2

Caliber the pit bull was swept away by the South Saskatchewan river, Sunday, after chasing a ball into the water. (Courtesy: Lorah McCorriston)

A woman is warning other pet owners after a dog was carried away by the South Saskatchewan River near Lemsford, Sask., about 365 km. west of Regina, on Sunday.

Lorah McCorriston said she owned Caliber, the pit bull, for years with her former boyfriend. 

After the pair split up, the dog stayed in Saskatchewan with her ex, while McCorriston moved to Calgary where she works as a veterinary technician. 

But McCorriston says the distance didn't make the news of Caliber's disappearance any less difficult. 

"First I was gonna be a little bit sick and then I was probably angry," McCorriston said. 

Caliber

(Courtesy: Lorah McCorriston)

McCorriston said on Sunday afternoon her former boyfriend took Caliber for a day trip to the river with family and friends. 

Someone threw a football into the water and when the dog went after it he was swept away by the current.  

McCorriston is trying to spread the word about what happened in case Caliber is found. 

"So that at the very least we can put his body at rest and if nothing else, maybe somebody else can prevent this from happening to their poor dog," she said.  

Saskatoon's fire department said Caliber's fate is a lesson for anyone with pets. 

Saskatoon Battalion Chief Marc DeGirolamo said Monday all the recent rain means the South Saskatchewan River is flowing at twice its normal rate.

He said accidents often happen when owners allow their animals to stray close to the river's edge unattended. 

"Typically the pets are off leash and they go too close to the water and either they just slip into the river or the bank gives way and they just slip into the water and they're gone."

DeGirolamo said to be safe, owners should not let their dogs go into the river.