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Dog saves dog from death at bottom of Italian ravine

Canine alerts passerby, who calls fire fighters and volunteers

24 December, 13:13
Dog saves dog from death at bottom of Italian ravine (ANSA) - Pistoia, December 24 - A dog named Toby on Monday helped save a fellow canine named Lucky from drowning at the bottom of a ravine by attracting a hiker's attention to its plight, animal protection volunteers near the north-central city of Pistoia said Tuesday.

Members of ENPA, a national animal protection NGO created by Italy's founding father Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1871, discovered Lucky, an elderly and overweight German shepherd, trapped in running water at the bottom of a steep drop, with Toby standing guard next to him.

Unable to reach the dogs in jeopardy, the ENPA volunteers called the Pistoia fire department, which dropped rescuers into the ravine and lifted Lucky out. The entire operation took place after nightfall and lasted several hours, ending at 21:00 local time, rescuers said.

Toby, who is younger and healthier, bounded back up to safety on his own, allowing himself to be caught without a struggle.

Lucky was uninjured, but had been unable to get out of the freezing water on his own due to his age and weight.

Both animals were taken to a shelter, where a microchip scan revealed that Lucky and Toby belong to a family in the mountain village of Momigno. They had gotten lost after leaving the family garden for an unauthorized outing. The relieved owners rushed to pick up their pets on Tuesday, shelter sources said.

photo: a dog (not Lucky or Toby)