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An Alert Dog Saves Four Elderly Patients from Fire but Got Herself Badly Burnt, Recovering

NEW DELHI, Nov 21: This happened in Leningrad region near St. Petersburg in Russia. A pregnant dog saved four elderly patients in a private hospital but rescuers forgot to release her from leash and left her behind cooking in the fire. It was hours later when a television news showing the burnt hospital that the dog Matilda was noticed and the local animal rights activists quickly rescued her and hospitalized. Good news, however, is she is recovering and even the puppies in her belly were all found to be alive and developing.

The incident happened sometime earlier this month but came to light when a section of the Russia reported about the burnt Matilda’s recovery on Saturday. People around the city lauding her acute alertness have joined hands to raise money to help with the dog’s medical treatment. According to reports, a fire broke out at a private hospice centre in St Petersburg and the alert dog, Matilda, barked loudly to alert the four residents, who were evacuated in the nick of time from the burning wooden building by firefighters and taken away in ambulances.

Although the people were rescued due to Matilda’s quick response, by mistake the firefighters forgot about the dog leaving her behind inside the burning structure and on a leash. “During the hustle and bustle, everyone forgot about the dog named Matilda, who was on a leash. Motya, as she is affectionately called, could not escape the fire, she was badly burned,” reported Russian media.

Hours later, when a TV journalist’s broadcast showed the dog severely injured, winching in pain, Petersburg animal rights activists and volunteers rushed to the site and rescued it.

They brought the injured dog to Sotnikov’s clinic and shelter, where upon examination they found the canine to be pregnant. A statement from the shelter said, “Matilda’s face, neck and abdomen were severely burned. Her muzzle remained completely naked, only burnt skin is visible. Her abdomen, in which the kids are, also looks creepy.”

“She was checked over by a fertility specialist who looked at her for a very long time and carefully studied the puppies. They are all alive and developing well,” the media reported.

With the help of people’s contribution, the shelter is regularly posting updates about the dog’s recovery. She is ready to give birth any time next week. However, Matilda might not be able to feed her babies right away as her abdomen and nipples are heavily burnt, the veterinary doctors at the shelter said.

(Manas Dasgupta)