Man rescues dog after its leash gets caught in elevator doors

A man is being praised for his quick thinking after he rescued a dog whose leash had gotten caught in an elevator.

Johnny Mathis recalled the incident on Twitter, where he shared security footage taken inside his Houston, Texas, apartment building of the rescue.

“Y’all I’m shaking!” Mathis wrote. “I just saved a dog on a leash that didn’t make it onto the elevator with the owner before the door closed! I just happened to turn around as the door closed and it started to lift off the ground I got the leash off in time.”

In another tweet, Mathis continued: “She started screaming as soon as the door shut and was bawling her eyes out when it came back down.”

In the video, which has been viewed more than 16m times, the owner can be seen entering the elevator while the Pomeranian is still a few feet away. After the elevator doors close, Mathis rushes over and struggles to release the dog’s collar from the leash.

In subsequent tweets, Mathis said that he did what he “had to do to help the pup” and that he was “thankful” he was there “at the right time to help”.

According to the 27-year-old, his first instinct was to “break” the leash, but he found he was unable to.

“I tried to break it at first,” he told NBC News. “I tried to lean down on it with all my weight but it wouldn’t snap.”

When that tactic didn’t work, Mathis attempted to pull the dog’s collar off - before realising that the collar was secured with a buckle. Eventually he was successful in freeing the dog.

“I was fighting all that fur, it took me a few tries because that dog was so fluffy,” he recalled.

Since sharing video of the incident, Mathis has been applauded for his heroic efforts.

“You should be so proud of yourself for realising what was about to happen and taking quick action!” one person wrote on Twitter. “Those quick reflexes are reflective of a naturally good heart.”

Another said: “Seriously thank you so much for not even hesitating to save that dog.”

And while Mathis says he is grateful he was there to rescue the dog, and for the “support and kind words,” he doesn’t believe the owner is at fault - and instead wants the incident to serve as a teaching moment.

"I really feel bad for the girl, she’s gotten a lot of hate," he said. "I didn’t realise 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."

“I hope everyone keeps their fur babies in mind next time they get onto an elevator,” he concluded on Twitter.

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