North Reading Police Department
What could have been a tragic, heartbreaking afternoon turned into a day of hugs and puppy kisses thanks to a heroic team of police officers and firefighters of North Reading, Massachusetts, who worked together to save a choking puppy's life.
When North Reading resident Megan Vitale ran into the police station screaming for someone to help her nine-week-old Saint Bernard puppy, Bodhi, Police Chief Michael P. Murphy and Fire Chief Don Stats rushed to the rescue. After choking on his food, Bodhi was unresponsive and limp. Vitale had only just adopted Bodhi the day before — what a terrifying experience for a brand-new dog-mom!
But the chiefs didn't miss a beat. Treating the puppy as they'd treat a choking human patient, the duo went to work performing CPR — back blows and chest compressions — on little Bodhi while officers Jorge Hernandez, Peter DiPietro, and Joseph Aleo came over to help, as well. After a very scary and tense 10 minutes, the officers were able to revive Bodhi, who was then given oxygen — via a special mask made specifically for pets — by firefighters in the police station lobby.
Watch the suspenseful but heartwarming rescue of Bodhi in the video below:
“Many of our firefighters have pets at home in their own families. We do not get to choose the emergency situation that comes our way, so it is important that first responders be prepared for anything,” Chief Stats said in a statement.
Following the rescue, Vitale took little Bodhi to a veterinarian for a closer, more thorough checkup, according to the North Reading Police Department.
“Ultimately, a life was saved thanks to rescuers falling back on their training and remaining calm," Chief Murphy added. "Even though we are not faced with this kind of incident every day, the officers reacted just as they would in any emergency situation. We are hopeful that the puppy will make a full recovery.”
What an eventful day! We can't imagine how scared Vitale must have been, but we're so glad she was quick on her feet and got to the professionals just in time! We're sure everyone in North Reading is happy — we know we sure are! — little Bodhi will live to bark another day.