When Brady Oliveira isn't playing for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, he spends his time rescuing dogs in his home province of Manitoba.
man in blue sweatshirt holds two puppies
Credit: Courtesy of brady.oliveira / TikTok

Brady Oliveira has a promising career ahead of him. Drafted with the 14th pick in the second round of the 2019 CFL (Canadian Football League) Draft, the 24-year-old is set to begin the 2022 season as the featured running back for the two-time defending champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Yet, here he is one of his latest TikTok videos, spending his offseason trudging through ice-cold floodwaters to rescue a stranded mother dog and her two puppies who were trapped in the inundated Peguis First Nation in Manitoba last week.

"That was one of the most insane rescues I've ever done," Oliveira tells Daily Paws.

The people living there had evacuated, some unable to take their pets. Paramedics in the area actually tried to call Oliveira back because the dangerous flooding was getting even worse, but he and Edmonton Elks receiver Shai Ross kept going. There was "no way" he'd turn around him once he heard about the stranded pets, Oliveira says.

Arriving at the severely flooded area, Oliveira and Ross walked for more than 15 minutes through icy water that reached their thighs in some spots. In the video, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times on TikTok, the pair arrives at the abandoned house, where they find mama dog—a boxer mix—cold and frightened and trapped on the front porch. Securing her, the rescuers continue inside, locating two puppies who had been locked in a bathroom for over 24 hours with nothing to eat.

The rescuers put the puppies in a hamper, Oliveira picks up mama dog, and the group begins the long, slow walk back to dry land.

"It's treacherous because you don't know what's under the water," Oliveira says. "You don't know what you're stepping on and the water is freezing."

Once the group reached dry land and their vehicles, the video shows them placing the puppers into the back of Oliveira's truck, where they promptly fall fast asleep.

Suffering from numb feet, a pounding headache, and the beginnings of hypothermia, Oliveira immediately drove the three dogs back to Winnipeg. Vets checked the doggos and de-wormed them at K9 Advocates Manitoba before newly supplied fosters took the dogs home to warm up and get some food and water.

Happily, Oliveira is able to report that not only is everyone still healthy and doing well after the icy ordeal, but the two puppies have been adopted by the same family. Their mom, meanwhile, is off to Boxer Rescue Ontario, where she's being loved and attended to while she waits for her forever home.

The literally bone-chilling ordeal was the most harrowing of his dozens of rescues. He estimates he's rescued 70 dogs from all kinds of situations over the past three years. (When he's not evading linebackers or catching screen passes.)

That call to action came for Oliveira when a friend who volunteers with K9 Advocates Manitoba reached out in a group chat, looking for a friend to accompany him on a rescue. Oliveira answered the message, excited to help both the First Nations communities living in his native Manitoba and the stray and abandoned dogs in desperate need of care and shelter.

"I had no idea that this was such an issue in the province that I'm from," Oliveira says. "But once I saw how many dogs were being abandoned, I knew that I had to help."

You can keep up with Oliveira's rescues on TikTok.