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Fire department saves Wonder Lake dog's life

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 5:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 11:42 p.m. CDT

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WONDER LAKE – A Jack Russell terrier is alive today thanks to the actions of the Wonder Lake Fire Department.

On Sunday night, the fire department answered a call from a pet owner that his dog, Spring Olson, 11, was in respiratory distress and suffering from heart failure.

Firefighter-EMTs Taylor Young, John Zurick and Matt Oates, as well as Capt. Christopher Weber, answered the call.

“We were just sitting in the radio room after a call, and I was typing up a report,” Young said. “Then a gentleman knocked on the door saying his dog was having trouble breathing. We actually have dog respiratory masks, so we put him on the oxygen and took him to the veterinary clinic parking lot until the doctor came.”

Young explained that giving the dog oxygen was really all they could do, but it was apparent that it helped Spring quickly.

“I’d never used the dog respiratory equipment before; it was pretty cool to see it take effect on the dog,” Young said.

Not only did the firefighters answer the call about Spring, but they also stayed with the pooch and owner while maintaining his vitals and providing him with oxygen until veterinarian Dr. Edin Mehanovic arrived at the Wonder Lake Veterinary Clinic.

“When the doctor got there, he took the dog into the clinic to give him X-rays,” Young said. “We decided to stick around just to see what had happened to him.”

Thanks to the efforts from the fire department, Spring now is doing much better.

“Spring is stable now and doing very well,” Mehanovic said. “I know for a fact if the firefighters had not given the dog oxygen, he would not have made it.”

Older dogs commonly have heart issues, Mehanovic said.

“The fire department responded promptly and were very helpful even after I arrived at the clinic and admitted Spring; it was very kind of them,” Mehanovic said. “The fire department not only made a life difference for the dog, but also for owners, because they still have their pet.”

Young said he was glad the fire department could help.

“I can’t say we really did all that much, but it feels really good knowing we saved that dog’s life and made a difference in the owner’s life as well,” Young said.

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