What is the strangest thing you’ve ever awoken to? Everyone has a story they can tell, but this is a story that our inspectors will tell for a lifetime, and it is a true testament of why giving up should never be an option.
On Saturday 28th Mar 2015, we received a frantic call from a senior citizen by the name of Ms. Thompson (Residence: Kennedy Sub Division). She explained to our receptionist that she was in need of assistance. She had heard the cries of a dog all night outside her room window, but she lives alone and was too afraid to go outside at 2am to investigate the crying.
When she woke up the next day, the dog could still be heard crying and seemed to be in a lot of pain. So she went outside to see if she could determine where it was coming from but she saw nothing. Ms Thompson went back inside and continued her early morning routine of packaging fruits and stocking them up on her truck to go and sell at her fruit stand. Each time she put an item on the truck the cries of the dog grew louder, so she was prompted to ask one of her neighbors to help investigate where the cries were coming from.
The neighbor came and was surprised to see what appeared to be a dog stuck underneath Ms. Thompson’s truck. What was strange to him was that he could not see the dog’s head, so he opened up the hood of the truck and was shocked to find a cat on one side of the engine huddled up and a dog’s head wedged in between the engine and chassis of the truck! The cat ran, but the dog needed help immediately and after they realized he could not get out on his own, they contacted The Bahamas Humane Society.
Inspector Ventoi Bethune was on duty that morning. Inspector Armaly was off, but was at the shelter finishing up some work from the previous day. He offered to tag along for the ride. The inspectors were not prepared for what they were about to see. The dog was possibly chasing the cat the previous night. The cat was able to successfully evade him by running up into the engine of the truck, but the dog somehow managed to get her head so far up in the engine, she could not get it back out.
When the inspectors arrived, they immediately got to work. Plan #1 was to sedate the dog and pull her from underneath the truck. That plan didn’t go as easy as anticipated. With the dog fully sedated, Inspector Armaly got underneath and started to pull, but the dog’s head was fully wedged and space under the truck was limited.
Plan #2 was to continue trying to pull the dog out, but to use cooking oil as a lubricant and place it around her neck and head so it would be easier for her to slip out. That failed, and by this time about an hour had already passed. Inspector Bethune realized that they needed more space underneath the truck to work with, so he went in the BHS bus and rode around the neighborhood looking for a mechanic who was willing to loon him a heavy duty car jack; Luckily he found a wrecker truck driver who was walking out of his house to throw out the garbage, and his wrecker had a flat tire, but after explaining to him the situation he was more than willing to assist.
The wrecker was used to jack the truck up higher so the inspectors could get more hands underneath the engine. Neighbors gathered and began to assist with the rescue. Others looked on and gave verbal support. The truck was higher, but the dog’s head was still wedged, so Plan #4 was to use the pulley on the wrecker to lift or shift the engine and provide just enough room for the dogs head to slip out. The engine did not budge.
On to plan # 5, which was to loosen the engine mount and then try to shift the engine once more. With the limited tools neighbors brought to assist, we began trying to loosen the engine, but the bolts and screws hadn’t been tampered with in years! It was as if they had become one with the engine.
Time was running out for the Inspectors. They had been there about 2 and a half hours, and new plans and ideas had stopped coming. The wrecker driver was only doing a favour and had to leave to tend to his kids for the morning. The dog had awoken from being sedated and was very weak. Her breathing had begun to be labored. Her cries became longer and more desperate. Neighbors cried and said, “Y’all please, the dog suffering, put him to sleep please man.” Ms. Thompson held her head low and prayed for the poor little dog.
It seemed like taking her out of her misery was the best thing to do, but Inspector Bethune was not prepared to give up on the dog. He and Inspector Armaly decided to give it one more try. Inspector Bethune got on his back and wriggled underneath the truck and pushed the dog’s head up. One of the neighbors was drinking what appeared to be water, so Inspector Armaly asked him for it to give to the dog to drink. When he began to pour it on the dog’s tongue, he quickly realized it was not water but rather… gin!
After tasting the gin, the dog started to shake and amazingly managed to shift the position of her head and slip out from under the engine. She ran off into the neighborhood before she could be caught. Everyone was happy and cheerful! Neighbours gave applause but no one was happier than the dog, who could be seen in the distance looking on!
Neighbours said that they are not sure the dog has an owner but Ms Thompson and others have been feeding her. They’ve agreed to continue doing so. The inspectors will follow up on her, and we’ll try to provide updates on how she’s doing!
With limited resources, but a willingness to get down and dirty along with a determination to save a life, the Inspectors were able to make an entire neighbourhood smile and show them compassion and love for an animal.