Dogs Swept Into Overflowing Culvert as Debby Lashes St. Pete

After Tank, a 100-pound terrier, slipped and fell into a culvert near Tropicana Field, Layla jumped in to help the frightened animal and their owner.

Two pet terriers out for a rainy walk with their owners Sunday were swept into an overflowing culvert, as Tropical Storm Debby lashed St. Petersburg.

Robert Montgomery and Cory Crosby said Sunday that they were walking their dogs on leashes in a grassy area near Tropicana Park, when one of the dogs slipped and fell into a culvert that runs under I-175 and into Booker Creek in Roser Park.

"The water is normally not that high," Montgomery said. "The water usually looks like it is up to your knees."

Montgomery said that he jumped in to save the 4-year-old Staffordshire Terrier, Tank, who weighs more than 100 pounds. Montgomery grabbed on to Tank as the chest-high rushing waters roared around him.

As he tried to save Tank, 6-year-old Layla – their Rednose Pitbull Terrier – became frantic and jumped into the water, too, apparently to save both of them.

"She's very motherly. She's very smart. She just jumped off the edge to see what she could do," Crosby said.

The two dogs had never tried to jump into the culvert before, even though they visit the area daily.

Everything happened so fast that the men barely had time to think. At that point, Montgomery tried to reach for Layla, too. But he slipped and lost his balance.

The current was so strong that it started to pull Montgomery and both dogs under, sweeping them toward a storm drain that flows under a bridge near I-175.

"I saw them being pulled under and into the canal" that flows into Booker Creek, Montgomery said. Montgomery felt like he could not fight the current either.

Montgomery let go of the dogs to save himself. He watched them slip under the rushing waters, which pulled the dogs toward the large storm drain. He did not see them again.

Montgomery hoisted himself back up to dry land. The two men jumped into their van to cross I-175 and try to follow the waterway.

Sunday afternoon, they walked along the culvert and through Roser Park, where a pickup truck earlier had veered off the road and sunk into the rushing creek. No one was injured in that mishap. Montgomery stopped a police cruiser, asking the officer to keep an eye out for their dogs.

The men followed the creek to the point where it meets Tampa Bay. Booker Creek flows east through the park, under 4th Street and out to Tampa Bay, by USF St. Petersburg.

The men hoped to spot any sign of the dogs, both of whom are microchipped and have black collars with tags. They want them home, even if it is to bury them. "These are very well-behaved, smart dogs," Montgomery said.

The two men are asking that if anyone finds the dogs to contact them at 727-204-7061.

"I think it's a pretty slim chance they're alive. Their best chance seems to be on the other side of I-175" from Tropicana Field, just northwest of Roser Park, near baseball fields.

Montgomery said that he and his partner were given Layla by a friend, when the dog was a puppy. The men got Tank when he was just seven weeks old through an ad on Craigslist.

"It made sense for Layla to try to save Tank. They had always been together," Montgomery said.

michele bradford June 26, 2012 at 01:56 AM
has anyone heard anything about tank? prayers going out now!!!!
Judy June 26, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Any news regarding Tank - was the poor thing found?
Linda Hersey June 26, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I sent a text to Robert and Cory last night but have not heard back from them. I will likely try at the end of day to call them. Thanks for asking.
Catherine June 26, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I'm wondering the same thing, Michele & Judy; this is why I even clicked on the link for this story today. Did lots of praying for the safe finding of both dogs yesterday, but when out found out that Layla was found deceased, I prayed even harder for Tanks safe find. That dog must live .. he just must. Hope we here some good news soon.
Robert Montgomery June 26, 2012 at 04:35 PM
We found Layla's body late Monday by someone who saw this please help us recover tank!!!! Thanks for all the support
Linda Hersey June 26, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Thank you, Robert, for responding. We are happy to spread the word. Please stay in contact with Pinellas County shelters and the neighborhood. You never know. Tank seems like a big strong boy.
Robert Montgomery June 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
We checked out pinellas county animal services today and unfortunately we did not find tank.
Catherine June 26, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Oh no, Robert. Just in case you didn't know, you can place a FREE Lost add in the Tampa Bay Times .. may aid you in finding Tank. I'm also guessing that you've been back to the areas that you checked on the day of their demise, to see if he's laying around struggling with a broken leg or something. Also, DO check with the animal shelters: SPCA, Friends of Strays, Save Our Strays, Humane Society, etc... You just never know .. may find your beloved boy in one of those locations. Keeping you and yours in prayer of finding Tank.
Robert Montgomery June 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Thank you all very much. Yes catherine we have been back to the area as hard as it is we are happy to have some closer to one of our dogs
Alison VanderMolen June 26, 2012 at 06:27 PM
We share your heartache! Please know that you are in our prayers!
Catherine June 26, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Oh Robert ... your loss feels like mine own. Please call the times and do place that free lost add .. miracles do happen and I certainly pray that it's time for you to receive one.
michele bradford June 26, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Robert & Corey hey guys i am so sorry about ur little girl... iit breaks my heart i still have all my friends looking.. and u guys can also keep ur eyes out on craigslist.. alot of ppl pick up strays and try to re sell them... even though they belong to someone else... i have been through this myself so i know....
Camielle June 27, 2012 at 02:51 AM
When we found her it was the worst feeling in the world, but I am glad we were able to get her to Robert and Corey so they could have some closure. Prayers remain for Tank.
Linda Hersey June 27, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Camielle: Thank you for letting Robert and Cory know when you found Layla, even though it seems you had never met them. I know it was so important to them, and your kindness made a difference.
michele bradford June 27, 2012 at 11:29 PM
has anyone heard anything about tank? imraying he is safe nd sond and hopefully home with his 2 daddies
Linda Hersey June 28, 2012 at 02:25 AM
We've heard nothing new on Tank, though Robert said he will keep us informed and thanked everyone for kind thoughts and helpfulness.
michele bradford June 28, 2012 at 03:28 AM
awsome ty Linda...
Cory c June 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Nothing yet everyone. Thank u all for your support
Georgette Keane June 28, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I am so sorry my dog I found was not them. Thank you for calling me Michele
Georgette Keane June 28, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I am so sorry Cory that the pit I found is not yours. My heart is with you and much hope to find them well
michele bradford July 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
ny news on tank? i sure hope ur baby comes home soon
Linda Hersey July 01, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Haven't heard anything!
michele bradford July 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM
has anyone heard anything about thier other baby?
michele bradford August 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
has anyne heard anything aout tank comn back home?
Robert Montgomery August 21, 2012 at 01:47 AM
We are very sadden to report that Tank was rescued but due to overcrowding he was euthanized Aug 8th R.I.P babies you two are playing together once again
Linda Hersey August 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I'm so sorry Robert. This is tragic. Will you please contact me? 727-480-4163 Linda at Patch
michele bradford August 21, 2012 at 07:39 PM
OMG i am sooo sorry robert.. my praters are with u and ur family .. trust me tank is crossing ovr the rainbow bridge to be with his playmate..Him and Layla can be running around and playin again. again I am so sorry fo our loss...take care and go bless
cory crosby November 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I would like everyone to know how much we appreciate the support .yesterday we adopted lexi from new horizon dog rescue.lexi is a mini pit girl brown and beautiful green eyes .
Catherine November 26, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Makes me feel so sick, reading that Tank was euthanized [due to overcrowding]. Please, Robert, get chips for any dogs that you may take into your home and heart in the future. Not that doing so is a guarantee, but it might just be a lifesaver if your pet is taken into a shelter. So sorry for your loss.
Catherine November 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Thank you Cory, for having adopted a rescue. I'm sure that she'll do her best to heal your hearts and will be a very loving, appreciative part of your family. Bless you all.


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