“I’ve seen dogs protect their owners when an intruder is coming at them, but not from an automobile. I’ve never seen that before,” Brewster Village’s Police Chief John Del Gardo told ABC News.
Figo is a service dog belonging to Audrey Stone, a blind woman.
They were walking through an intersection at North Main Street on a Monday morning when the accident happened. A school bus carrying two children hit Figo and his owner, but prior to that, the dog jumped in front of the bus in order to save Audrey.
“Right before it happened the dog did something really heroic,” said Del Gardo. “He sort of lunged at the bus. It injured his leg and paw, and the woman received multiple injuries. When EMS came, he [Figo] didn’t want to leave her side.”
The blind owner was treated in a hospital for numerous fractures, three broken ribs, and a laceration to the head. But the most important thing was that she was alive.
Figo underwent an operation at Middlebranch Veterinary in Carmel, New York.
Dr. LouAnn Pfeifer, who has been caring for the eight-year-old service dog, remarked that it did not surprise her that Figo risked his life for Audrey.
“This is what they’re trained for,” said Dr. Pfeifer. “He’s a good boy. He’s been a patient of ours since he was in service of Miss Stone, and he is just a wonderful dog.”
The school bus driver was given a summon for the incident, and he explained that he did not see Audrey and her dog. But he was still accountable for his failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
According to Share America, there are at least half a million service dogs in the United States. These dogs are not classified as pets because they are expected to perform duties, not simply to share cuddles or give emotional support. They are highly-trained dogs that provide assistance to persons with a disability based on the Americans with Disabilities Act.Whizzco