Dog Stuck in Cooler Rescued by Fla. Firefighters


Firefighters rescued a dog Monday afternoon whose head was trapped in a discarded bait cooler, and authorities believe she was there for more than a week.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue representatives said three men in a pickup truck driving near Southwest 188th Avenue and 134th Street in western Miami-Dade County spotted the dog with its head stuck in the fiberglass boat cooler and called for help.

Rescuers realized they did not have anything with them to sedate the dog, which was agitated.

Firefighters contacted a veterinarian to determine if they could use Valium, which they carry to sedate people when necessary, according to Lt. Arnold Piedrahita Jr., of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. The veterinarian said the rescuers could give the dog Valium through an IV, so a member of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's venom response unit came to sedate her.

Lucky at Miami-Dade Animal Services Tuesday morning, recovering from her ordeal.

Firefighters then used a reciprocating saw to cut the cooler away from the dog's neck, Piedrahita said.

An animal control officer said the severity of the dog's wounds indicated she had been trapped for more than a week, Piedrahita said.

The animal control officer also said the dog, a 40-pound female Labrador mix, had extra body fat because she had recently given birth to a litter of puppies, and that likely helped keep her alive, according to authorities. No puppies were found in the area.

The dog was taken to Miami-Dade Animal Services, where veterinarians examined and treated her.

"What we can see from her injuries right now is she has a lot of soreness in her neck. She has a lot of irritation and some secretion suggestive of the lesion being a little bit chronic, maybe a couple of days," said veterinarian Dr. Maria Serrano, of Miami-Dade Animal Services.

The dog, which has been named Lucky, is expected to recover. Shelter representatives said is now up for adoption.

In addition to Lucky, there are dozens of animals available for adoption at Miami-Dade Animal Services. For more information on how you can adopt one of the available pets, visit the

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