Southern Alberta man stuck in mud for 2 days rescued thanks to his dog

Click to play video: 'Hero dog helps save southern Alberta man'
Hero dog helps save southern Alberta man
A Taber man is lucky to be alive after his dog, fittingly named Hero, saved his life. Sarah Jones has the story on the series of events that led to the discovery of the dog owner, who was trapped in the mud for two days – Apr 2, 2024

A southern Alberta man who was stuck in the mud for two days in Taber was rescued thanks to the efforts of his pet dog.

Police were called to the north side of the sugar factory property just before 7 a.m. on Thursday, after receiving a report of a large dog in the area.

When they arrived, police were not able to find the dog.

A few hours later, police learned a man and his dog Jack were bitten by the original large dog while in the area.

When police went back to the scene, they noticed an Akita mix dog laying on a nearby berm. They also heard cries for help.

They then noticed a 61-year-old man was stuck in a muddy ditch behind some tall grass. He had been stuck there for two days.

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Click to play video: 'Southern Alberta man stuck in mud for 2 days rescued thanks to his dog'
Southern Alberta man stuck in mud for 2 days rescued thanks to his dog

Taber police chief Graham Abela says the man was rescued and taken to Lethbridge hospital, where he was treated for possible hypothermia.

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“Our officers provided some first aid on scene and called EMS and fire to help. We later learned that the gentlemen had a condition with one of his shoulders that didn’t allow him to get up from the fall that he had,” said Abela.

He later told police his dog, who is aptly named Hero, stayed by his side for the entire two days and kept him warm, along with his other dog, Tora.

The pups even helped fight off some coyotes at one point.

“Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, and I think this happened here,” added Abela.

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Abela says the area where he became stuck is close to town but is quite remote.

“It’s a fishing spot sometimes in the summer, but in the winter and early spring, it’s not really well travelled. We do have a few people who like to walk their dogs out there, and that’s what happened here.”

A man who was bitten by Hero the dog was not upset once he learned the dog’s owner was stuck in the mud in Taber, Alta., for two days. Courtesy / Taber police

The man who was stuck in the mud remains in hospital, and both his dogs are being cared for by the Taber Lost Paws Society.

Acting President Alana McPhee says they’re making them as comfortable as they can while they wait to be reunited with their owner.

“We know they’re stressed so we’ve been taking extremely cautious care of them,” said McPhee.

Following the incident, the society started a GoFundMe, which raised nearly $3,000 in less than 48 hours. The money will help pay for the extensive vet bills for the injured animals.

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Hero had some scratching and bruising, and his sister Tora had a previously broken leg with a rod in its place, but the screws came loose and need to be fixed.

Jack was also taken to the vet for serious injuries sustained during his interaction with Hero.

“He was quite lacerated, beat up, but to my knowledge, that’s all that it was but it was pretty severe. He had to get a drainage tube put in,” explained McPhee.

Jack’s owner received medical attention but was very understanding of the circumstances.

“We’re really thankful for the gentlemen who actually called us. He actually went through quite a bit of trauma, separating Hero and his dog, who was being attacked. He suffered injuries as well as his dog,” explained Abela.

“Once he understood what happened, even though he was the victim, he understood, and I gave him a lot of praise for that as an individual in our community.”

Taber is located about 50 kilometres east of Lethbridge.

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