Georgia German Shepherd Saves Woman From Car Wreck, Happy Ending on the Way!

 |  Feb 4th 2007  |   10 Contributions


What an amazing dog! Sounds like he was just too smart for the family that let him go!

Thanks to AccessNorthGa.com for this article!

Wayward German shepherd may have new career as rescue dog
The Associated Press - THOMASVILLE, Ga.

A bruised and battered south Georgia woman credits a wayward German shepherd with rescuing her after her car careened down an embankment, tossing her through the rear window and leaving her sprawled, cut and bleeding, on the vehicle's trunk.


Shannon Lorio, 36, said the dog, which has since been given the name "Hero," pulled her by her collar off the trunk and dragged her about 50 yards through briars to the edge of a highway and let her lean against him so that she could stand up and flag a passing motorist.

Officials of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society, which runs the local animal shelter _ now Hero's temporary home _ were so impressed with the victim's account they have arranged to have Hero evaluated for search and rescue work.

"That dog is always going to have a special place in my heart," Lorio said Friday during a tearful reunion with the dog. "He's my hero."

Lorio, who still has scratches and bruises on her arms and legs, spent most of a night in the hospital, until she insisted on being released. She still walks with a limp. Cuts on her left elbow are held closed by more than 20 metal staples.

She had her first reunion with Hero on Thursday, when she arrived with her mother-in-law with gifts for the dog, including a large pillow, a stuffed animal and a bone almost as big as a rolling pin.

When Lorio returned Friday, she hugged and kissed Hero as he plopped down on the pillow and began crunching the bone with his strong jaws.

"If he ever needs anything, I'll be there," she said, noting that she can't adopt Hero because she already has six dogs. "If I did adopt him, he'd be treated like the king he is. That dog is always going to have a special place in my heart."

The crash occurred on the night of Jan. 26. Lorio, who has three children of her own and two adopted children, said she lost control on a curve in a remote area and the car tumbled backward down an embankment in a heavily wooded area.

She was thrown backward, so that her torso was on the trunk and her feet were dangling over the rear seat. She said she was not wearing a seat belt, although she requires her three children and two adopted children to wear them.

"I was bleeding from my face and my nose," she said. "All of a sudden, I felt a presence _ a really huge presence. He was straddling me. I have watched too many horror movies about werewolves and vampires. I thought he was going to eat me."

Instead, the dog licked her face and locked his jaws on her shirt collar, she said. He dragged her off the car and kept pulling until she was near the edge a highway, said Lorio, a trim, 136-pound woman.

She leaned on the dog while summoning help and then collapsed in a semiconscious state, Lori said.

By the time authorities arrived, she said she heard someone mention the Humane Society. Lorio begged them not to take the dog there, fearing he might be euthanized.

"I don't know where he came from but this dog saved my life," she said. "I didn't want him put to sleep."

Kim Arrington, manager of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society, said there's no danger of that.

Because of all the publicity the dog has received, at least 50 people have offered to adopt the 2-year-old shepherd, who weighs 65 to 70 pounds, she said.

Based on Lorio's experiences with Hero, Arrington thinks he might have the right stuff to be a search and rescue dog. So she contacted Heidy Drawdy, a veteran Thomasville dog trainer who is a member of South Georgia Search Dog, a group that has taken part in numerous searches, including work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

After a preliminary evaluation, Drawdy said Hero may have the qualities needed to become a certified search and rescue dog, but first he'll be given obedience training.

Following the accident, Hero's previous owners signed him over to the Humane Society because he kept wandering off.

Hero will move in with Drawdy, her husband, Michael, and their two search dogs on Monday, she said.

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