A Houston man was caught on video dramatically saving a dog’s life after the pet’s leash got caught in a pair of elevator doors, NBC News reports. Now the man is defending the dog’s owner from haters online.
Johnny Mathis, a welding teacher, was exiting the elevator at his apartment complex while a neighbor, a female with a Pomeranian walking alongside her, was approaching. The woman went into the elevator, but the dog did not. His or her leash did, however, and the elevator started ascending, tightening the leash on the dog and risking strangling it.
The entire incident lasted no more than 20 seconds. In that time, Mathis says, he tried to put his weight on the leash in order to snap it. When that failed, he tried to take the dog’s collar off, which also failed. Finally, he noticed that the collar had a buckle that could be unsnapped; Mathis says that he tried several times to reach it, but because the dog was so fluffy he had a hard time getting a grip.
All the while, Mathis says, he could hear the dog’s owner screaming from inside the elevator.
Eventually, Mathis was able to unsnap to dog’s collar. He then held onto the animal.
The incident was captured on his building’s security cameras, which he shared on Twitter. The video can be seen below, but it contains content that some viewers may find disturbing.
Mathis says he then tried to get the dog owner’s attention by banging on the doors, to let her know her pet was safe.
“She was on the floor with her face covered just bawling her eyes out. I felt really bad.”
Not only did he save his neighbor’s pet’s life, he is now defending her against haters who are taking her to task for the way the situation unfolded.
“I really feel bad for the girl, she’s gotten a lot of hate. I didn’t realize how much backlash there might be for her. We’re all human, things happen like that. It just takes a second for your attention to not be there,” he said.
Mathis also notes that the dog was on a retractable lead, so she didn’t feel a tug on the leash and didn’t realize the dog was still behind her.
Mathis says that he has not had a chance to speak to his neighbor again since the Monday incident occurred.