Check out another installment of rescue stories here.
It wasn’t enough for 24-year-old loser Sonny Leon Abreu to rob a man in a wheelchair in Florida this February. He then went and pushed both man and wheelchair over into busy traffic.
The wheelchair-bound victim, Jose Mojica de la Rosa, wasn’t the only one in peril: in a pet carrier on his lap sat his nine-month-old dog, Lola. The wheelchair fell on her and broke her leg.
Mojica de la Rosa says that Lola tried to defend him, so Abreu kicked her. Mojica de la Rosa said, “I was scared. I have no family here, and this dog is my only family.”
Motorists and pedestrians stopped and saved the two from being run over, righting the chair and moving them to safety. Back on the sidewalk, Mojica de la Rosa, who was not injured, found himself with a dog with a broken leg and exactly zero money. So he did what he had to for his chihuahua Lola. Determined to save her, he traveled seven miles in his wheelchair to get her to a veterinarian, where her broken leg was bandaged up.
Abreu, an alleged gang member, was arrested a few days later.
Dogs Who Fell Through the Ice
Bentley & Malcolm Jarvis
Many dog owners have made their way across thin ice to rescue pooches who had fallen through into freezing waters.
One of these saviors was Englishman Malcolm Jarvis, who could not watch his four-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Bentley, drown. On a walk last year Bentley had run across the ice atop a river in pursuit of some ducks when he fell through. Jarvis said that Bentley tried desperately to climb back onto the ice “but he couldn’t pull himself up. We were watching his little head sink lower and lower in the water and he was getting tired and slowing down because of the cold. I was thinking, ‘We’re going to lose the dog — he’s going to die.’ I couldn’t let that happen.”
Jarvis stripped down to his underpants and set out on all fours across the ice, which was three or four inches thick. But he too fell through the ice, about ten feet short of reaching his dog. Nevertheless he managed to get to Bentley and haul him onto the ice, and to clamber out himself.
The Jarvis family has vowed to keep Bentley on his leash from now on and cautions others to do the same with their own dogs.
Since the chilly rescue Jarvis has taken some heat from critics who consider the dangerous rescue foolhardy. In response his wife tried to explain why Jarvis, and many others who have been in the same situation, risked their lives to save their dogs: “When you don’t own a dog, you just think ‘crazy dog people,’ but they are a part of the family.”
Bones and Bob Motyka
Bob Motyka calls his dog Bones his best friend and compares him to a son. The two New Jersey residents went for a walk in a dog park in January. In a designated off-leash area he let Bones, a four-and-a-half-year-old English pointer run free to chase geese — Bones likes to point at them.
But Bones’s chase led him onto iced-over water. Motyka called to him to come back, which Bones started to do, but then fell through the ice into the freezing cold water. After watching Bones struggle for a few minutes Motyka realized that Bones wasn’t going to make it, so he risked a plunge himself. He went out onto the ice and got about two feet from his dog before he fell through the ice too, where he was stranded for 12 minutes. He kept trying to crawl out onto the ice, but each time it crumbled beneath him.
Finally, with help from a fellow dog-walker, he managed to push Bones back up onto the ice. Eventually he saved himself too, thanks to some Coast Guard classes he had taken. He remembered to roll up in a ball, which made him feel warmer. Then he flung himself onto the ice and rolled away from the hole. Both Bones and Motyka survived their ordeal intact.
Pets Who Almost Became Lunch
Hannah Marie and Pat Bringol
A hawk in Louisiana liked the looks of Hannah Marie, a 10-pound miniature dachshund playing in her backyard. He had been perusing the menu in Hannah Marie’s neighborhood for a while, hanging out in nearby trees. One day in January 2011 he decided to make his move, swooped down, and grabbed the dog.
The hawk hadn’t reckoned on Pat Bringol. Bringol, a grandmother, chased the hawk. When she caught up with him, she says, “I had to reach on my tippy-toes and grab [Hannah's] hind legs. And, it took everything I had to pull her. I said, ‘You’re not getting my dog!’ I was so mad I was shaking.”
Bringol dragged her dog out of the hawk’s talons, which sliced into Hannah’s skin in three places.
Since then Bringol accompanies Hannah whenever the dog goes out.
Smokey and Becky Bennett
In Minnesota later that year the hungry menace was a coyote. He snatched 18-year-old Smokey from her backyard. Smokey’s yelp brought her person, Becky Bennett, running. Bennett did exactly what experts advise to scare off a coyote: “I just came out the door and started running and yelling and screaming and being as big as I possibly could — waving my hands and screaming at it to drop her.”
Drop her the coyote did. Smokey suffered some large wounds from the coyote’s teeth and needed 10 days’ recuperation before she could walk again, but she made it through.
Tucker and Dawn McCarty
Another midwestern coyote took a shine to a small dog in Illinois last November. Chihuahua Tucker is 12 years old, diabetic and nearly blind. His person, Dawn McCarty, was outside getting her newspaper when she heard Tucker yelping. In her back yard she discovered a coyote with Tucker’s leg in its mouth. A second coyote stood close by. McCarty dispatched of both of them, yelling and using her newspaper to shoo the animals away. The coyotes ran.
Tucker suffered a bleeding foot and shock, but thanks to McCarty, he survived.
When so many people abuse and exploit animals around the world, it is a much-needed comfort to know that many others love animals so much that they risk their own safety to save them.