Archived Story

Near drowning toddler saved by family dog

Published 3:25pm Monday, June 25, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — A dog saved a Marcellus Township infant from drowning Sunday.

Cass County Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood reported Monday his office is investigating the incident deputies responded to at 3:51 p.m. June 24.

Marcellus Fire Department received a 911 call from Patricia Drauch, 30, of Maple Street, Marcellus.

She advised deputies that while at her residence, she went to the garage to get a shovel with her 14-month-old son, Stanley Drauch, following behind her.

After getting to the garage, she discovered he was no longer behind her.

Drauch found Stanley, who appeared blue, face up in the water of the family pool.

The family’s dog, a black Lab, was in the pool, underneath the infant, holding the child up out of the water on its back when she spotted the child.

Patricia grabbed her unresponsive son, attempted to call 911, but was unable to get cell phone service from the residence.

She began driving to the fire department two miles from her residence for help.

Once on the roadway, Drauch was able to get cell phone service and contacted Cass County Central Dispatch.

The child regained consciousness while she was on the phone with Central Dispatch.

Upon arrival at the fire department, Marcellus fire and ambulance personnel examined the victim, who was found to be conscious and in good condition.

Cass County Undersheriff Rick Behnke said that the story isn’t something heard everyday and the department was surprised.

“It sounds like something you would see on TV,” Behnke said in an interview Monday.

According to Behnke, who read the report and looked into the incident, the child displayed signs of near drowning to emergency personnel and that the claim of the black Lab intervening to save the child appears true.

“It’s pretty amazing that a black Lab has the wherewithal to know what’s happening and act,” Behnke said.

The child was taken by his parents to Three Rivers Area Hospital, treated and released.

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