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Boston Firefighters Rescue Dog From Frigid Charles River

Trooper at Angell Animal Medical
Trooper at Angell Animal Medical Center with Rachel Kennedy, Gina Kennedy, and Lieutenant Vincent Dimino. (Brian Adams/ MSPCA-Angell)

By Katherine Landergan For

Boston firefighters saved a black Labrador retriever known as Trooper from drowning in the Charles River Tuesday night, Fire Department officials said.

Firefighters received a call about a dog in the river around 8 p.m. They rushed to the scene, and Lieutenant Vincent Dimino of Ladder 11, wearing a survival suit that was tethered to the shore by a rope, swam out about 45 feet to the dog.

“The dog was going under repeatedly, so he put a bear hug around the dog and then the firefighters pulled him to shore,’’ said Steve MacDonald, a Fire Department spokesman.

The dog was reunited with his owners and then taken to Angell Animal Medical Center, said MacDonald.

According to Brian Adams, spokesman for the MSPCA in Boston, the owners were walking Trooper and their other 7-year-old retriever, Harley, along the river and let the dogs off the leash to play in a grassy area. That’s when Trooper dashed away, possibly chasing a rabbit.

Adams said the owners spent an hour and a half looking for the dog before spotting the police and fire crews.

“It was a team effort to rescue the dog,’’ MacDonald said.

When Trooper arrived at Angell Animal Medical Center, he was hypothermic, with a body temperature of 85 degrees. The normal body temperature for a dog is between 99 degrees and 102.5 degrees, Adams said.

He said the dog was given warm fluids and surrounded with warm air. He was released yesterday afternoon.

“He’s been resting up; it’s been a pretty long, arduous 24 hours for him,’’ Adams said. “He is not back to his normal playful self, but well on his way to recovery.’’

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