The RNLI was called after he was spotted fully-clothed and chest-deep in the water.
The RSPCA says the terrier puppies would not have survived for much longer.
Police have appealed for witnesses with dashcam footage to come forward.
What are the stories the BBC should be telling about Middlesbrough?
The life of the man who voiced Boro matches for more than 30 years is told through five items.
Joe Lolley scores twice as Middlesbrough's Championship play-off bid is dealt a blow by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Barrow end their run of five without a win with a hard-fought victory over Hartlepool.
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