When Long Beach, Calif., firefighters arrived on the scene of a house fire, they found the Neal family’s 10-year-old Boxer suffering from severe smoke inhalation and a faint heartbeat.
“It was devastating … he really is like my third child,” Sara Neal, pet mom to Elmo, told “Good Morning America.” “I was just heartbroken and scared.”
The Neal family was out running errands when the fire started, so first responders were able to focus on Elmo, trying to stabilize him for nearly an hour.
Firefighters found the family’s dog unresponsive on the floor of the burning home. Through quick thinking and the use of a resuscitation mask for dogs, they were able to save Elmo’s life.
“It’s a specialized mask that’s used for canines and we were able to put this on Elmo when we brought him out. We [also] used this device which we call a bag valve to assist breathing for Elmo,” Paul Rodriguez, Long Beach Fire Department first responder, told “Good Morning America.”
“He had a very limited respiratory effort at the time and after doing this for several minutes, we noticed that Elmo was slowly starting to breathe on his own. Then at that point we used the mask alone with the oxygen to provide therapy to survive on his own.”
“He’s a nice, mellow dog – likes to lay around the house on any spot he can find that’s nice, and if I lie in the bed, he comes right next to me and wants to lay in bed with me,” Mark Neal, Elmo’s pet dad, explained to “Good Morning America.”