SPCA Cadet Inspector Rudie Philander caught the attention of the public after he selflessly rescued a dog from a canal in Princessvlei Steenberg on Tuesday, December 29.
The 29-year-old started working with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA a few months ago and holds a postgraduate degree in conservation biology.
Philander jumped into the canal to rescue the dog floating on a mattress with injuries believed to be from a dog fight.
A video of the rescue was posted by the SPCA to Facebook and received 250 comments thanking Philander for his bravery and selflessness.
The SPCA shared these comments with Philander who was unaware of these responses.
“I don’t think I can explain how I feel” said Philander in the reaction video. “It is obviously rewarding seeing the responses of the people…I just did it for the dog at the end of the day.”
Philander explained that he didn’t think in the moment and just jumped into the dirty water of the canal, only seeing that he had gumboots in his car afterwards.
“In that moment you don’t think of yourself you think of the animal” he said. “That’s why I do this job, I think of the animal to get them to safety and for people to love them.”
Philander has rescued many animals since joining the SPCA, others include several horses, pigs, cows and cats.
Watch his full reaction here.