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.
Preview followed by live coverage of Monday's Championship game between Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough.
Preview followed by live coverage of Monday's National League game between Barrow and Hartlepool United.
About these results
BBC Tees Sport: Commentary
BBC Tees Sport: Post-match
The gripping thriller returns for a second series
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