When Megan Vitale rushed her 9-week-old Saint Bernard puppy, Bodhi, into the North Reading Police Department in Massachusetts on March 4, she feared for the worst. It looked as though her pup, who was choking on food and had gone lifeless, was not going to make it (the harrowing moment was captured on a security camera in the station).
But the firefighters and police officers on hand quickly jumped into action to do everything they could to save the dog.
"Officers Jorge Hernandez, Peter DiPietro and Joseph Aleo came around the window and began to attend to the puppy," according to a statement from the North Reading Police Department. "Assisted by North Reading firefighters, the first responders administered back blows and chest compressions, ultimately dislodging the obstruction."
After ten agonizing minutes, the young pup was revived and treated with an oxygen mask specially designed for pets. Bodhi's incredible recovery was also seen on video.
"Ultimately, a life was saved thanks to rescuers falling back on their training and remaining calm. Even though we are not faced with this kind of incident every day, the officers reacted just as they would in any emergency situation,” says police chief Michael P. Murphy, who added that many of the first responders on staff have pets of their own at home.
After the incident, Bodhi was taken to a veterinarian for extra care. When a dog has had a choking episode, there may be damage to the throat, which can sometimes require hospitalization.
“We are hopeful that the puppy will make a full recovery," Murphy says.
Image via North Reading Police Department