"As soon as the door shut she was screaming," Mathis told KRIV. "There was nothing she could have done. She is new to the building so I think she wasn't expecting it to shut so fast.
“I felt terrible for her. It was an honest mistake.”
Mathis said he had yelled, “Hey, your dog!” to the woman when he noticed the Pomeranian didn’t enter the elevator.
"Instinct just kicked in, I just grabbed that leash," Mathis 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 said the owner was thankful when she returned to the ground floor but could not stop crying, CNN reported.
“I think she just said ‘thank you’ and we hugged but she was just so overcome with emotion,” Mathis told the network.