Dogs in dire straits are sometimes helpless to save themselves. The lucky ones are saved by human heroes. Here are five such stories.
1. Injured Dog is Sick Man’s Best and Only Friend
Jessie Brothers’ dog Nubbin is all Brothers has. Brothers, 65, lives alone and suffers from several health problems. He survives on Social Security and disability payments and is worried that he may be evicted soon. Nubbin is “the only thing I’ve got. If it wasn’t for him, I doubt I’d even be here,” he told the Lexington Herald-Leader of Kentucky.
When he thought he might lose Nubbin, Brothers collapsed and had to be hospitalized. Fortunately two Good Samaritans saved the day. Here’s what happened:
While chasing a small animal, Nubbin got his leg caught in a fence and broke it in three places. The veterinarian said an operation might save Nubbin’s leg, but Brothers couldn’t afford it. Without the surgery Nubbin would have to be put down.
That is when Brothers, a retired laborer, collapsed, realizing that he might lose the best thing in his life because he couldn’t afford the care Nubbin needed. Brothers couldn’t move and the local fire department medics were called. That was when his luck turned around.
One of the paramedics who arrived on the scene, dog lover Anthony Johnson, learned what the situation was and volunteered to pay for the surgery himself.
Johnson wasn’t the only rescuer in this story: retired firefighter Major Mike Tracy heard about the story and offered to split the costs.
Nubbin isn’t out of the woods: it is too soon to tell whether the operation will allow him to keep his leg.
Since the story came out, so many people have wanted to donate that the firefighters established a fund for Nubbin’s care. To make a contribution, write a check to FOF Public Education and mail it to the attention of Ed Davis: Third Street Fire Station, 219 East Third Street, Lexington, Ky. 40508. Specify that it is a donation for Jessie Brothers.
2. Paramedics Treat Freezing, Starving Dog Turned Away from Animal Hospital
Some demonic jerk starved a dog right up to death’s door in Buffalo, New York. The little pooch was too weak even to lift her head. Then he ditched the dog in freezing temperatures in front of an animal hospital.
And so she was saved, right? Wrong.
The hospital continued this poor dog’s pattern of rock-bottom luck by refusing to treat her — or even to give her a warm place to stay until the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Erie County picked her up. (The hospital said that it was closed that day, and that only a custodian unauthorized to handle animals was in the building.)
Things turned around when two EMTs, Norine Hoch and Breanna Horwood, spotted the tiny pile of skin and bones on the ground. They took action themselves, wrapping the dog in blankets and heat packs. If they had arrived moments later, EMT Hoch told WIVB 4, the pit bull “probably would have been frozen to death.” An EMT used a non-ambulance vehicle to drive the pup to the SPCA, according to Dog Heirs.
As of December 2, according to The Examiner, the young dog was doing better, though still in “extremely guarded” condition. She could even sit up and walk, and the SPCA reported her exhibiting some “NORMAL PUPPY BEHAVIOR!!!” By Thursday, the SPCA reports, she was in a foster home, where she was getting lots of love and some house training too. If her luck remains on the upswing, she may find herself in good health and in high demand for adoption soon.
If you have any information about who may be responsible for abusing this little dog, please contact the SPCA Director of Animal Cruelty Investigations, Jeff Eyre, at (716) -629-3525. Anonymous tips are accepted. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
3. Firefighters Rescue Sole Occupant of Burning Building: A Dog
Tim Chandler’s dog, Moe, slept inside his barn at night, “tied up on a dog run.” One night this November that arrangement almost killed Moe.
“A passing driver awakened Tim Chandler to tell him that his barn was on fire.” Californian Chandler tried to get into the barn to rescue Moe, but the heat from the fire was like a strong gale holding him 20-30 feet away.
The firefighters who came to battle the blaze included Captain Les Porter, a dog lover with three of his own at home. He dove into the fire to rescue the seemingly doomed dog. Thanks to the Captain’s bravery, Moe survived with just a burn on his paw.
“It was remarkable how Captain Porter treated Moe like he was a person,” Chandler said.
“I can’t put into words how grateful I am,” Chandler said. ”A lot of people would think it’s just a dog, but he approached him like a human being.”
Porter, 53, has three dogs of his own and said rescuing Moe was second nature.
“I’m kind of partial to dogs,” he explained.
4. A Friend Helps Recover Stolen Medical Assistance Dog
Medical assistance and therapy dogs are more than treatment. They are family.
That’s how it was for Californian Robert Runkle and his Yorkshire terrier, Lola. Runkle is going through both dialysis for kidney disease and chemotherapy for lymphoma. Because of the cancer he was recently kicked off the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Lola was one of the bright spots in his life.
A certified assistance dog, Lola was “everything” to Runkle. “I don’t have a significant other,” he said. “She got me up and got me motivated.”
It was a hard pill to swallow when someone smashed the window of Runkle’s car and stole Lola from inside. (Note: Care2 Causes does not endorse leaving dogs alone in cars.) As the days went by, he lost hope of ever seeing his darling dog again.
But Runkle’s friend, Tracy Moon, wasn’t going to let that happen. She put up a $3,000 reward for Lola’s safe return. It paid off when an unidentified woman in Oakland, California, said she found the Yorkie running loose and took her home. Lola and Runkle, who had been crying every day, were soon reunited. “I never came so close to fainting in my life” as when Moon surprised him with his recovered dog, Runkle said.
Though some believed the Oakland woman who returned Lola was scamming her, Moon paid the $3,000 reward. ”There are a lot of people who think I am a lunatic,” Moon said. “But Robert doesn’t.”
5. Kind Workers Save Man and Dog Close to Drowning in Superstorm Sandy Flood
Floods from Superstorm Sandy nearly swallowed Michael Delacruz and his dog, Pyapya, in lower Manhattan, according to The New York Post. When he evacuated his apartment, Delacruz took his whippet, a 14-year-old cancer survivor, and jumped in a cab. But the rising waters stalled out the car, so Delacruz and Pyapya had to get out.
Delacruz doesn’t know how to swim. All he could do was hold tight to his dog to make sure Pyapya wasn’t swept away from him.
As the water rose to Delacruz’s neck he believed he was about to die. But he was determined to save his beloved whippet and made sure to keep his head above water.
“I thought if I was going to drown, at least he should live. He’s like my son. He’s gone through so much in his life,” Delacruz told The Post.
Lucky for both of them, when Delacruz shouted for help, “he got an answer — from Rajinda Pal, a Citi security staffer.” Pal’s directions guided him to higher ground. Then two other Citi security employees jumped into the water, pulled Pyapya and Delacruz out, and tended to the pair.
“They just opened their hearts to me,” Delacruz told The Post. He considers himself “very lucky to have met these wonderful people,” knowing that many less fortunate people and animals died in the storm.