Mississippi Fishermen Saves 38 Dogs From Drowning

A leisurely fishing trip at Grenada Lake in Mississippi transformed into a dramatic rescue mission for three men who saved 38 dogs from drowning. Bob Gist, a 61-year-old State Farm agent from Arkansas, and his friend Brad Carlisle, a State Farm agent from Tennessee, had planned a simple day on the water with local fishing guide Jordan Chrestman.

The day started with little success in fishing, leading Chrestman to suggest moving to a new location. As they relocated, they heard barking and spotted several dogs struggling in the water. The dogs were part of an annual fox run and had ended up in the lake while chasing a deer.

“We’re just flabbergasted because it’s dogs everywhere, and they’re all going in different directions because they can no longer see the bank on either side,” Gist explained. The dogs, identifiable as hunting dogs by their GPS collars, were in dire need of help.

Chrestman, recognizing the danger, insisted on checking on the dogs. The men quickly navigated their boat to the scene and began rescuing the dogs. They managed to pull between 25 and 27 dogs onto their boat, ensuring their safety from the water.

Once the initial group of dogs was safely onshore, the men encountered panicked owners desperately searching for their pets. Using a GPS tracker provided by one of the owners, the rescuers located another group of dogs about a mile from the shore. These dogs were exhausted after treading water for nearly an hour.

“We got back over to the ramp with that last bunch of dogs… [and] we were having to drag them out of the boat because they didn’t want to get out of our boat. They were scared they were going back to the water. It was terrible,” Gist recounted.

Despite the owners offering a reward, Chrestman refused any payment. Gist praised Chrestman’s quick thinking and heroic actions. “If Brad and I had been there in a boat by ourselves, we wouldn’t have known anything was wrong, but that 20-something-year-old kid – I’m 61, so I’m calling him a kid – he knew something needed to be done,” Gist said.

Gist expressed his gratitude for being part of the rescue but credited Chrestman with saving the dogs. “That kid had the presence of mind to know, ‘If we don’t do something, there’s going to be 38 dead dogs here.’ And he saved them, I mean we all pulled them in, but that kid is the hero here,” he remarked.

The rescue mission highlights the quick thinking and teamwork of the fishermen, turning what was meant to be a routine fishing trip into a life-saving effort for dozens of dogs.