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* Video: Dog Calls 911 After Owner Collapses
Dog Calls 911 After Owner Collapses
POSTED: 3:44 pm MST September 13, 2008
UPDATED: 5:48 pm MST September 13, 2008
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A dog specially trained to call 911 when his owner suffers seizures grabbed the phone Wednesday morning and whimpered for help when the dispatcher answered, police said.
Chris Trott, a veteran police operator, said she heard a cry from Buddy, who she later discovered was an 18-month-old German shepherd.
Buddy's owner, Joe Stalnaker, was suffering one of his more severe seizures, said Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department.
Ten years ago, Stalnaker said he was in a military accident that severely injured part of his brain, leaving him prone to potentially fatal seizures.
He got Buddy when the dog was 8 weeks old through the help of Paws With a Cause, an assistance animal adoption service.
Stalnaker said trained the animal to recognize when he is having a seizure and respond by grabbing the phone and bringing it to him.
"He doesn't actually sit there and dial 911, but whenever he picks up the phone, one of his teeth inevitably hits the number, and if it's held down for more than three seconds, it dials the police department," Stalnaker said.
When Buddy ears the operator, he puts the phone down and whimpers as if he's in distress. The 911 system matches the call to the address and dispatches emergency help, Clark said.
Trott stayed on the phone with Buddy until she could hear paramedics arrive, less than three minutes after the dog had placed the call, Clark said.
Buddy rode in the ambulance with Stalnaker to the hospital, and both man and dog were back home two days later, feeling much better.
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