She wasn’t going to let a drowning dog die.
A dog lover saved an aging pit bull who was pulled from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Lake Thursday — by administering “mouth-to-snout” resuscitation on the soggy pooch.
“She was soaking wet. She smelled like a wet dog, and was dirty from being pulled from the water and onto the dirt. Her nose was wet and cold,” Lower East Side resident Holly DeRito told The Post Friday.
Holly Derito demonstrating the CPR technique she used to get the unconscious dog breathing.William Farrington
“All I was doing was thinking that if this was my dog, imagine how bad I would feel. I just needed to get some life into her, because my dogs are my life, they’re my family.”
DeRito, 46, said the ordeal began when she was at the green space with her Chihuahuas, Angelina and Ludwig, and people began screaming in panic.
“I heard somebody say, ‘Call 911!’ and saw someone pulling this dog out of the water and saying, ‘She’s not breathing!’ ” she recalled. “The owners were hysterical and saying, ‘No, no, no, please, no!’
DeRito sprang into action after the man who rescued the canine — a 12-year-old female named Bella — used a Heimlich maneuver to pump out its lungs.
“She was completely limp, completely unresponsive,” DeRito said. “He did compressions and I started breathing into her nose — cupping the mouth shut and breathing into the nostrils.”
The pit bull that had drowned and was brought back to life by Holly DeRito.Photo courtesy of Holly DeRito.
The dog’s tongue “was turning blue” and “I was starting to think she wasn’t going to make it,” said DeRito, who runs a nonprofit dog-fostering operation called Waggytail Rescue.
As the rescuers frantically performed canine CPR, someone called 911 but was told, “This isn’t emergency. Call 311,” DeRito said.
“I knew it was up to us to save her,” she said.
“I started putting my hand to her mouth and listen to see if she was breathing, and finally she took a little breath and coughed a little bit and started breathing.”
Bella spent about 10 minutes recovering from the ordeal before her owners — a man and a woman in their 30s — got her up and took her to a vet.
DeRito said she gave the couple her phone number, but hasn’t heard back.
Still, she didn’t have a moment’s hesitation before getting up close and personal with Bella.
“The ickiness was discarded from my mind, because a little bit of icky doesn’t matter when you’re trying to save a life,” she said.