Helping paws and hands: Pets and people respond in emergencies

We've been moved by the number of dog saves man, man saves dog stories crossing our transom lately.

We start in western Pennsylvania where a Cloe, an 18-month-old mixed breed dog, ran for help after her foster caretaker collapsed in his yard.

Chuck Weintraud of Cranberry Township was mowing his lawn earlier this month when he collapsed from a heart-ailment.

Cloe, who had been abused and neglected when Weintraud took her two months earlier, ran to a neighbor's yard and frantically barked for help before leading the neighbors to Weintraud.

A nurse who lived nearby told WPIX-TV Weintraud was unresponsive when she arrived.

"Everything that happens does so for karma or a higher power. All of the pieces came together," Weintraub said. See video here.

Now, to the "man saves dog" stories. In New York City and just across the river in Union City this month fire fighters have made two dramatic rescues of not one but two dogs stranded in precarious places.

Earlier this month firefighters scaled a cliff just above the Lincoln Tunnel to save a dog who residents say had been trapped there for a week.

The cliffside, part of the scenic New Jersey Palisades, is next to busy Rte 495, the feeder road to the tunnel. Fire and rescue crews shut down two lanes of tunnel traffic to reach the dog during a busy weekday morning.

Officials told they did not know if the mixed breed dog squeezed through the fence or was thrown over it.

“The rescue was precarious because we had to climb that cliff,” said Union City Animal Control Officer Geoff Santini. “God forbid the dog had gotten scared and leapt into the traffic. That would have been horrific."

The malnourished dog was suffering from infections in his eyes and one leg but was recovering at Summit Animal Clinic. (Thank you Summit for stepping in. The docs there took care of our cats when I lived in nearby Weehawken 13 years ago and have seen their share of abadoned animals, among them a large snake I recall that was left at the clinic door.)

So far, no one has claimed the dog, who appears to be a spaniel mix. Animal control says it wants to wait until the dog - now known variously as Cliff and Lincoln - recovers before putting him up for adoption.

And just yesterday, with a nervous crowd looking on, a brave, dog-loving member of the FDNY went up in a cherry-picker to save what appears to be a chow trapped on a Brooklyn window ledge. 

Witnesses said the dog appeared to have climbed out of the second-story open window, which had a window guard required by law in New York City apartments where children live. Once on the 6-inch ledge, the dog didn't seem able to get back in, past the window guard.

It seems the dog wound up on the wrong side of the child proof grates, required in all New York apartment buildings and could not get back in.

So, FDNY to the rescue.

Up went the firefighter in the bucket. He had to return several times to get a leash, a bowl of water and treats.


"It was pretty nerve-wracking," said resident James Morgan, who filmed the dramatic rescue..

Watch Morgan's great video below!







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