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Tag: trapped

That “Southern hospitality” isn’t a myth — not even during a flood


A Columbia family worked together to rescue an 87-year old man and his dog after he got trapped in his car by rising floodwaters while passing through South Carolina.

Then the family fed him, gave him a shot of bourbon, called a doctor to look him over and invited him to stay the night.

Southern hospitality, it seems, is alive and well — even during a deluge.

George Osterhues, who lives in Canada, was on his way to Florida with his dog Tilli. He got off Interstate 77 because of the flooding, then got lost near a flood prone lake north of Columbia.

osterhues2The Hall family, who lived nearby, was going door to door to check on neighbors when they saw a hand waving from a car almost halfway underwater.

Inside, they could see a man and a dog.

Julie Hall, a Chester County prosecutor, called 911, but the family quickly decided rescuers probably had their hands full during the flooding.

Together, they decided to take action.

At first her husband, Tom Hall tried to reach the man in a canoe but the current was too rapid. Instead, he used ropes tied to trees to hold onto as he made his way to the car.

When he reached the car, the man told him he was “ready to die.”

osterhuesHall deemed that unacceptable.

“No way was that man going to die out there,” he told the Charlotte Observer.

Tom Hall gave the man a life jacket and pulled him and his Yorkshire terrier out the window, and the whole family, including sons Brice, Graham and Logan, helped to tug Osterhues and the dog to dry ground.

Then the family took him to their home for some warm tea, a shot of bourbon and a hot meal.

Julie Hall’s father, a doctor, came over to check on Osterhues, who stayed over Sunday night.

Osterhues, it turned out, is German-born, and a survivor of bombings and Nazi terror during World War II.

He and Tilla got a rental car for the rest of the trip to Florida.

The true meaning of friendship


After her friend, Phoebe, fell into a cistern that was too deep — by Basset hound standards — to jump out of, an old Irish setter mix named Tillie stayed by her side for an entire week.

The two dogs had wandered from their home in Vashon, Washington, on Sept. 7 during a party.

Their owner, B.J. Duft, suspects Phoebe, picking up the scent of something, led the way.

“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she’s best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she’s OK,” Duft said. “They’re best pals — inseparable.”

In the week that followed, Tillie proved that beyond any doubt — leaving Phoebe’s side only briefly, and apparently only to scout around to find some help.

The duo was eventually tracked down by Amy Carey, a volunteer with Vashon Island Pet Protectors, an animal rescue group that runs a no-kill shelter in the area.

Carey said the organization, after posting about the missing dogs on its Facebook page, got a call Monday from a resident who had seen a dog come to the edge of his property several times during the previous week.

phoebeThe dog would stand there for a few minutes, then go back down a trail to a ravine behind the house.

Carey went to the area to investigate and found Tillie standing guard over Phoebe, KING5 reported.

“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey said. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”

Duft and the dogs had a tearful reunion shortly thereafter.

“I was thrilled,” he told ABC News. “I was absolutely not surprised to learn that Tillie had stood by her side the whole time. She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends.”

Duft said he has had Tillie, now 11, since she was a puppy. He adopted Phoebe, 4, about two years ago after the two became friends at doggie daycare.

The dogs were hungry and exhausted but otherwise in good health.

Duft said he fed them both a “hamburger dinner,” and let them fall back into their routines.

“Within an hour of getting home, Tillie already wanted to play with her favorite toy — the tennis ball — so we did just that,” Duft said. “The two also hung out on the couch and got some well-needed sleep.”

(Photos by Amy Carey, Vashon Island Pet Protectors)

Officer saves dog from submerged pickup

harrimanA “dog-loving” police officer dived into a Massachusetts pond to save a pooch trapped in the cab of a submerged pick-up truck.

Police in Carver received a call Saturday after the truck went into the murky pond.

By the time Officer David Harriman arrived, one of two dogs had escaped and was standing on shore with the owner. But the other hadn’t surfaced, according to

“Instead of waiting for the dive team, I decided to go in and try and get the dog,” Harriman explained.

“Seconds mean a big difference for animals, and people for that matter, under water,” he said.

The owner of the dogs, Debra Titus, 59, of Plymouth, stopped the vehicle next to a pond that provides water to the local fire department to argue with a man about dogs, South Coast Today reported.

“She thought she threw it in park but in fact threw it in reverse,” Sgt. Raymond Orr said. “It backed up and went into the pond.”

According to a police department press release, Harriman “removed his gun belt and dove into the murky water … He then managed to open the door and enter the vehicle and retrieve the dog. The dog was returned to its owner in good health but a little frightened.”

A photo of Harriman standing on the roof of the submerged Toyota Tacoma, with the tiny dog in his arms, is racking up the likes on Facebook.

Harriman, who described himself as a dog lover, has an 8-month old bulldog named Jaxx.

Dog trapped in car honks til he’s freed

A veterinarian says a dog trapped in a car on a 90-degree day in eastern Pennsylvania honked the horn until he was rescued.

Nancy Soares said the 11-year-old chocolate Labrador — named Max — was brought to the Macungie Animal Hospital last month after he had been in the car for about an hour.

She said Max’s owner, Donna Gardner, of Upper Macungie Township, had gone shopping, returned home, unloaded her packages, but forgot that Max was still in the car. The owner later heard the horn honking, checked outside, then went back in. When she heard the horn honking again, she went outside and saw Max sitting in the driver’s seat, WFMZ reported.

Soares said the owner immediately gave Max cold water to drink and wet him down with towels before rushing him to the clinic, where — though he was warm and panting heavily — he was determined to have suffered no lasting injuries.

Mechanized reclining chair gobbles up dog

A small dog got wedged in a mechanized reclining chair at an assisted living facility in suburban Chicago and had to be freed by firefighters.

Naperville firefighters used a saw to cut the chair apart, and reported the dog, who belongs to a resident, didn’t appear to have been harmed – either by the chair or the rescue.

Firefighters were called to the Sunrise of Naperville assisted living center Thursday night, the Daily Herald reported.  Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Bolda said the dog didn’t appear to be in pain when firefighters arrived on scene. A nurse’s aide was relieving some of the pressure from the chair to help the dog breathe, he said.

Bolda said the chair’s electrical controls stopped working when the dog became wedged, so the only option left was to saw the chair apart.

“It took about five minutes to get him free,” Bolda said. “We’ve never had to rescue a dog like that before.”

Dogs trapped in gold mine manage to escape

goldminedogsTwo dogs trapped inside a Colorado mine shaft since Monday managed to escape on their own.

Christy Huffman told KRDO that her border collie and Chihuahua escaped from her home Monday, along with a third dog who is still missing.

The two who ended up in the mine pit at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine in Teller County got out and are now in the care of the local animal control office.

Rescue crews had been trying to reach the animals since Tuesday, and Animal control officers Wednesday tried coaxing the dogs out of the mine shaft with food, treats and water, but had no success.

CC&V Gold Mine spokesperson Jane Mannon says the dogs were able to make their way out of the mine on their own.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mikel Baker said officials were worried about  sending a search-and-rescue team down the 500-foot Ironclad Mine because the ground is unstable.

The dogs’ owners have been cited for letting their dogs run loose.

Reward offered for info on matted Pekingese

pekeA $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the identity of the owner of the severely matted Pekingese who was found abandoned on a  roadside in Waltham, Mass.

City police and animal control are still searching for the owner of the male dog, estimated to be between 9 and 12 years old.

The dog had been nicknamed Mattie by veterinarian Susan Rosenblatt, who treated him at Kindness Animal Hospital. He died a few days after he was brought in.

The dog was extremely emaciated, suffering from pneumonia and his muscles had atrophied from years of neglect, the Daily News Tribune reported

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to contact Kindness Animal Hospital at 781-893-2800 or email

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