Police Officer Saves Choking Dog Using Heimlich Maneuver

Officer Tom Lazure's timely intervention likely saved the life of a 10-year-old Shih-Tzu named Harry.

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Andrea Chu / Getty Images

Small dog (Shih Tzu) playing with ball in back yard.

A K-9 officer in West Hartford, Conn., saved a 10-year-old Shih-Tzu from choking by performing a modified, dog-friendly version of the Heimlich maneuver Monday, Patch reports.

With no animal control officer available, officer Tom Lazure — who’s trained in basic canine first aid — was called to the scene. When he arrived, the dog’s frantic owners explained he’d gagged on a piece of rawhide and wasn’t breathing. Lazure pressed on the Shih-Tzu’s chest, loosening the lodged rawhide and allowing the police officer to remove it. The dog, named Harry, resumed breathing shortly thereafter.

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If Lazure hadn’t arrived in time, the outcome could have been much different. Pet owners have witnessed the deaths of their furry friends when unable to respond properly — or when help didn’t arrive in time. Oprah, for instance,  lost her dog after the 2-year-old Golden Retriever choked on a plastic ball. Other panicked pet owners have experienced similar tragedies, largely caused by toys, food and household items.

But after the opportune rescue and a visit to the veterinarian, Harry was reportedly in good health by Tuesday.

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