February 23, 2012

Dunked dogs back with owner

Kennebec Journal Staff

PITTSTON -- Both dogs that suffered hypothermia Sunday night after falling into an icy bog are back at home with their owner.

People walking by a bog on Route 194 reported the dogs had fallen through the ice around 5:30 p.m.

Pittston Fire Chief Jason Farris said after rescue crews pulled a German shepherd from the water, it raced home to its owner, James Bickford, who lived a mile away on Stage Road.

However, Bickford's 6-month-old Labrador retriever puppy was so hypothermic that it couldn't move, responders said. An off-duty Gardiner firefighter drove the puppy to the Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid Maine in Lewiston.

Deb Clark, veterinarian hospital manager, said the clinic provided treatment to the puppy and it recovered.

"He warmed up slowly," Clark said Wednesday. "He went from unresponsive to responding to his name. He was discharged here in the morning on Monday. The emergency folks clearly saved his life."

Bickford could not be reached for comment and the two dogs' names were not known.

Farris said the dogs would have drowned if the people walking by hadn't called rescue personnel.

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