START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
3,037,914 people care about Animal Welfare

Dog Flees Scene of Fatal Accident, Found Swimming in Gulf of Mexico

Dog Flees Scene of Fatal Accident, Found Swimming in Gulf of Mexico

Rory O’Connor was out kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, January 7th near Siesta Key, Florida when he suddenly noticed a dog paddling toward him. A dog owner himself, he quickly helped the exhausted and injured pup into his kayak.

An avid fisherman, O’Connor had his mounted video camera running the entire time – just in case he caught “the big one.”  The camera recorded Barney’s rescue and O’Connor posted it on YouTube.

After he got the injured dog to shore, he called his sister – whom he was visiting from Washington State – and she took the Hungarian Vizsla to a local veterinarian for treatment of his injuries.  While there, he was scanned for a microchip; his name and family information showed up.

“He was in a lot of distress. He was shaking and I thought it was because he was cold, but he was traumatized. He was also pretty beat up. His legs were bloody,” said O’Connor.  Tragically, O’Connor discovered the reason the frightened dog had ended up swimming in the Gulf.

Out for a jog with his human, the dog named Barney ran away when they were injured by a hit-and-run driver.  Barney eventually ran more than a mile to shore and entered the water.  Donna Chen wasn’t as fortunate; she was found dead at the scene.

Police report a 22-year-old man named Blake Talman was fleeing the scene of a prior hit-and-run accident when he lost control of the Nissan Altima he was driving and hit Chen and Barney.  The car then continued over some landscaping, hitting a street sign and several poles at the entrance to a church.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has charged Talman with one count of DUI manslaughter, nine counts of DUI with property damage and one count of fleeing the scene of a crash with property damage.

The Chen family reported they received calls from the veterinarian’s office to pick up Barney just about the same time as they got calls informing them of the fatal accident.  They are so very grateful to O’Connor for saving Barney and wish to send him a “big, hardy thank you.”  “I think Barney coming back to us was a total miracle,” said Dr. Chen.

Donna Chen’s sister, Colette MacPhail,told WTSP News “This [Barney] is our one piece, our one link to Donna. For Barney, he’s going to have his own adjustments. He’s just a piece that came back for us.”

Donna Chen is survived by her husband, Dr. Wellington Chen and three children, William, Tiffany and Andrew.  Sadly, Dr. Chen revealed his wife was killed on his birthday.

 

Related Stories:

Drenched Dog Running To Car After Car

Sheltering Japan’s Dogs After Disaster

Nevada Airport Worker Saved a Dog, But Lost Her Job

 

Read more: , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo is screen shot from YouTube video

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

208 comments

+ add your own
3:26PM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

I'm sad this family lost their loved one but glad that finding the dog alive has brought them comfort during this awful time. I hope Barney lives a long and healthy life. To the man who saved Barney: Thank you for being in the right place at the right time and for being a kind hearted person.

5:59AM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

The poor dog knew this human was his only hope. Thank you for sharing.

5:02AM PDT on Jul 22, 2013

What a sad story but thanks for sharing

5:02AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

When I first watched the video I was mad that this guy forced him out of his kayak and could see he was hurt. Thank god he posted his comments over the video so I understood what was going on. To see a dog in the middle of The Gulf and then would not budge in a tiny spot on the kayak shaking like crazy and bleeding/hurt I would have found a vet right away or something , but not have walked the dog around looking for the owner.

I really am thankful for the added captions and the article. I'm glad his sister was close by. It was obvious the man was not a mean person at all.Confused and not knowing what to do but I see he did do the right thing and thank god he even picked him up out of the water. That poor baby.

I like to help in general but I care more for animals first.
I don't mean to sound cold. I was confused at the start. Not everyone would even take the dog out of the water..... and on to a small kayak too. Not much room on there.

I am how ever so mad at these hit and run drivers.He killed someone!! Murder and injured another.

So happy Barney is back at home.
Thank You !!!

4:47AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

I'm stunned for a minute here. OK,the dog barney should be ok with family. This is sad and I am disgusted at these hit and run drivers. The guy needs to pay and I hope he did receive jail time but many get off too easy with the right lawyer. He killed Barney's owner and someon's family member. A wife, etc.... Terrible. Thank god the kayak guy saved the dog. That poor baby went through hell.

So many dogs and animals will run away during an accident. This happens all the time. he ended up in the gulf Of mexico scared and hurt .
My heart goes out to this family and barney. Everything should be better at least now that he is back with his family.

4:19PM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

jesus christ what an awful story....I can't believe 'Blake Talman was fleeing the scene of a prior hit-and-run accident when he lost control of the Nissan Altima he was driving and hit Chen and Barney'...I hope that bastard fries...

11:35PM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

A happy ending for Barney - at least as far as finding his family.

2:04PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

What a sad story! So glad that Barney was found by such a good guy, and I wish them all comfort and hope as they come to terms with their loss.

2:03PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

What a sad story! So glad that Barney was found by such a good guy, and I wish them all comfort and hope as they come to terms with their loss.

5:30PM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

God bless the kayak guy for saving him and his family for taking him to the vet to get care! Although a very traumatizing day and events for Barney the dog, I am very happy he found the care he needed and his family.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

meet our writers

Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.