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Dog Pulled From River Waiting for Owner to Come Forward

A German shepherd pulled from the swollen Los Angeles river Friday in a bold helicopter rescue is waiting for an owner to claim him.

The dog, nicknamed Vernon after the Southern California town where he was found, is in good health and will be quarantined for ten days unless an owner comes forward before then.

VIDEO: Incredible Dog Rescue Caught on Camera

If an owner shows up with proof of Vernon's rabies vaccination, the dog could return home. If Vernon is not claimed, officials will try to find the dog a new home with one of the hundreds of families that have already inquired about adopting the dog.

"We're inundated with calls from people wanting to adopt him," Dr. Brad Brunskill, who is caring for Vernon, told Fox News.

As for the dog, Vernon is healthy and content after his Friday adventure.

"He’s really doing well," Brunskill said. "He’s up, walking around, eating. And I think he’s enjoying all the attention."

Joe St. Georges, a 25-year veteran of the L.A. Fire Department, is recovering from the bite Vernon inflicted as the firefighter wrestled with the frightened dog and pulled him from the flooded river.

"I knew the dog was scared and tired. It's not too surprising that it was really upset with this big, loud noisy thing blowing all over it," St. Georges, 50, said. "And then some guy comes and jumps on its back — what a surprise the dog bit me."

At least 50 firefighters responded to reports that the dog was in the river on Friday afternoon. For an hour, firefighters stood at the top of the steep, concrete banks, throwing life vest and float rings, hoping the dog would grab on. Most of the time, the canine walked along a pipe or ledge in the center of the river, sometimes slipping. One firefighter got into the river and tried to catch him, but the dog took off. Soon the pipe was submerged.

When the helicopter hovered overhead, the dog scrambled to the side of the river and tried to climb the sides, only to slip each time.

St. Georges finally splashed down from the helicopter, wrestled with the frightened canine and lifted it to safety.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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