Two starved young pit bulls — one in critical condition — are being treated by emergency veterinarians after a North Charleston man said he rescued the dog from Noisette Creek.

The 1-year-old pit bull mix dogs “are extremely emaciated,” said Kay Hyman of Charleston Animal Society. “Bones. You can see every rib.” The more seriously hurt dog is being treated for pneumonia and has ingested saltwater, she said.

Alton Ledlow, 31, had driven to the creek Sunday morning to fish, when he saw a dog climb out on the bank, he said. The dog directed his attention to something in the water that looked like an otter, until it raised its head, Ledlow said.

With the water moving fast in a tide run, Ledlow jumped in, pulled rocks from the dog’s harness and pushed him to shore, where the first dog laid down next to him, Ledlow said.

“I couldn’t see not doing it. He didn’t have any time; he only had a few seconds,” Ledlow said. “He was fighting like hell to stay alive.”

A North Charleston police animal control officer arrived to take custody of the dogs and reported no evidence of someone trying to drown them, said police spokeman Spencer Pryor.

People with information about the dogs are asked to call animal control at 740-2815. People interested in the dogs’ welfare are asked to call the Charleston Animal Society at 747-4849.