Columbus medics save 12-week-old puppy from drug overdose


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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Medics saved a puppy from an overdose on July 10.

According to the Columbus Division of Fire, they helped a woman who came to the station with an unresponsive puppy in the Franklinton area at 11:30 p.m.

According to Fire Medics, Speakman was walking her puppy, Elo and on their walk the puppy picked up a wrapper. She took it from his mouth and they went home.

Speakman says when they arrived home Elo wasn’t himself.

“I brought him in and sat him on the couch with his bone, and he started acting strange. He just passed out, went totally limp. He was hardly breathing, so I gathered him up and ran over to Grandma’s Pizza across the street where I have friends,” Speakman said.

Friends at Grandma’s Pizza tried their best to help, “My friends splashed water on him, which revived him for an instant, but he went limp again. His breathing had stopped, and his tongue was hanging out of his mouth. I was frantic. I gathered him up and rushed out the door. I could see Fire Station 10 from where I stood on the street, so I ran over there as fast as I could, Speakman continued.

According to Speakman, she knew of a nearby fire station that’d be willing to help.  

When she arrived, she was met by Columbus Fire Lieutenant John Wisenbarger. He took them to the medic bay where the Tactical Emergency Medical Service team assessed the pup and diagnosed Elo with an overdose.

Fire Medic John Hagan and Mike Canter say they treated the puppy. According to the Elo had respiratory depression also known as shallowing breathing.

“Puppies typically have a respiratory rate roughly double that of humans. They also breathe faster during hot weather to maintain a homeostatic temperature because they don’t have the ability to sweat like we do. The puppy’s pupils were also non-reactive and somewhat constricted considering the time of night. Given the symptoms and the fact the puppy was non-responsive to both verbal and physical stimuli, these are classic signs of an opioid overdose,” said Hagan.

The TEMS medics received some police K9 training previously and used Narcan to revive Elo.

The Medics say they took some time to observe Elo’s improving symptoms. When the puppy began to play with the crew, everyone was relieved.  

“I’m just so grateful that the medics didn’t hesitate when they saw that Elo was a puppy. Many people make a big distinction between animals and humans when it comes to care. John and Mike simply brought us into the truck and immediately started treating him,” said Speakman.

Elo is a 12-week-old German Shepherd–Bull Mastiff mix. Speakman says he’ll enter service dog training at a nearby Pilot Dogs within a few weeks. She also encourages people to be aware of debris outside their kids or dogs may get into.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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