Trapped puppy saved by squad

QUICK response by a voluntary fire fighting squad helped save a German Shepherd pup which almost  

suffocated after its head got stuck in a grille door. 

Five Machang Bubok voluntary firemen used a metal cutter to cut open a 10cm by 10cm square panel on the grille to rescue the three-month old puppy, named Prince. 

Dog owner Latsmanan Ponnusamy, 55, said the firemen arrived at his house in Taman Machang Manis in Machang Bubok less than 10 minutes after he called the squad at about 11.30pm on Dec 11. 

“My wife, daughter and I were out for about four hours. We left Prince unchained with some food and water in the house. 

Volunteer firemen Teoh(right)and Lew Wooi Loong showing how they saved the trapped puppy.With them is Latsmanan(left).

“Prince must have put his head through the grille. He got stuck and could have suffocated if the firemen had not rescued him in time,” he said.  

Latsaman said he called the Rescue 991 hotline first but was told by a worker, who declined to be named, that they were un-derstaffed.  

“He also asked me if it was a prank. He suggested that I call the Machang Bubok voluntary fire fighting squad,” he said. 

Latsmanan, a lawyer, said the firemen displayed a great sense of urgency as they rushed to his house first and started put-ting on their uniforms only when they ar-rived. 

Squad chief Teoh Kian Hooi, 36, said they tried applying soap on the dog’s neck to re-lease him but failed. 

“Finally, we carefully cut the bars and slowly pulled him out. It is our duty to res-pond promptly to any distress call, even if it is to rescue an animal,” he said. 

Penang Civil Defence Department director Mej Mohd Johari Mohd Taufiq, when contacted, said he would investigate the case, noting that all Rescue 991 personnel must identify themselves while on duty. 

“When the worker said they were understaffed, he probably meant that all personnel on duty were attending to other cases. We only have six people based in Bukit Mertajam daily. 

“Sometimes we do ask if it is a prank call because we receive between 1,000 and 2,000 prank calls a month,” he said.  

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