Johnny Mathis, 27, is a Houston, Texas man who went viral on Wednesday after posting security footage showing him saving the life of a small dog whose leash was stuck in an elevator.
“Y’all I’m shaking!!! I just saved a dog on a leash that didn’t make it onto the elevator with the owner before the door closed!” Mathis posted to Twitter, “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?”
“When she got on, I was looking at the dog, because it was a cute dog,” Mathis told CNN. “I noticed the leash was kinda long but I didn’t think it wasn’t going to make it on the elevator or anything.”
In the 39-second video he posted to Twitter, Johnny walks out of an elevator as an unidentified woman gets on with her dog in tow. The woman doesn’t notice that the dog hasn’t followed her in the elevator when the door closes with the dog still attached to the leash. Luckily, Mathis saw what happened and realized that the dog is about to be choked to death by the leash. He springs into action and wrestles the dog free from the leash and picks it up.
“Instinct just kicked in, I just grabbed that leash,” he told CNN. “There was so much fur, that’s why it took me a bit to get that lever off of the collar and when I did, I let go, you could see that leash just shoot off to the top of the elevator.”
Mathis says the woman was in shock over the situation. “She started screaming as soon as the door shut and was bawling her eyes out when it came back down, she thought the worst ? poor things ?” He wrote on Twitter.
Mathis said he and the woman were both overcome with emotion following the incident. They hugged and she said ‘thank you’ and they went their separate ways.
A few days later, he spoke to his apartment leasing office and explained the story to them. That’s when they reviewed the security footage together and Mathis was able to capture the video.
Johnny took the opportunity to remind everybody on Twitter to be careful with their pets. “This could have been a lot worse but thankfully I could help. I’m glad it ended the way it did, truly.” He wrote. “All this attention wasn’t my intention but I hope awareness to situations like this are brought to everyone’s attention. It could happen to anyone. A second is all it takes.”
Johnny attended San Jacinto College Central and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Johnny Mathis Works at a Local Welding Company in Houston, Texas
According to his Twitter, Johnny works at Houston Welding Supply in Houston, TX. He regularly posts photos from his work and workplace shenanigans including an incident where one of his co-workers texted a photo of marijuana-infused edibles to the boss of the company.
Judging by his posts, the company has some great camaraderie and is a really fun, supportive place to work.
2. He’s a Cat Person
As the video above shows, Mathis loves dogs. According to his Twitter, Johnny owns 4 cats. He posted a screenshot of a text conversation with his mom and captioned it “My mom gets lit at the casinos while I’m sitting in bed with 4 cats on a Friday night ??” He posts photos of his cats on Twitter and Instagram.
He also posts photos with his friends’ and family’s dogs. He posted a photo back in 2013 showing him with a black labrador and a separate photo with a different pup.
Even though cats are his preference, he loves all animals.
3. He Defended the Woman in the Video After Users on Social Media Blamed Her for the Incident
After the video was released on the internet, several users blamed the unnamed woman in the video for the incident and were accusing her of neglecting her dog. Mathis insisted on Twitter and in various interviews that the incident was not her fault.
“Unfortunately this girl is getting backlash about all of this but the elevator was going to the 6th floor because there was a guy in the elevator already when I got off.” He wrote on Twitter, “I did what I had to do to help the pup. I’m thankful I was there at the right time to help.”
Mathis told CNN that the woman was shaking and bawling after the incident. “She thought the worse, that the dog had died,” he said.
4. Mathis Taught His Brother-in-Law How to Weld After He Was Nearly Killed During an Armed Robbery
Saving that stranger’s dog isn’t the only nice thing Mathis has ever done. According to a post on his Twitter, his brother-in-law was shot and almost killed during an armed robbery attempt.
“9 months ago I told my brother in law I was gonna teach him how to weld and that same weekend he got shot at a armed robbery.” He revealed in a screenshot of a note posted on Twitter, “He was in ICU for a month facing death and was in the hospital for another 3 months after that. I was there every day supporting him, always reminding him I was gonna teach him how to weld as soon as he got better.”
His brother-in-law eventually did recover after spending 3 months in the hospital. He included a photo in the post that shows him healthy and welding.
“Today I got to weld with him and teach him a few things. It’s a true blessing to have the chance to keep that promise. It’s a memory I’ll never forget and very grateful for!!”
5. He’s a Conor Mcgregor Fan
Mathis is a big fan of MMA and Conor McGregor in particular. He regularly posts on Twitter about going to see the fights and inviting his friends to join him. He’s also posted several photos with Conor McGregor T-shirts on.