Traffic boss hailed as hero in stricken puppy’s rescue
A Gqeberha traffic chief saved the life of a puppy stuck in a drain in Motherwell on Monday, proving that it is not only cats that have several lives.
Aside from facilitating the rescue, Nelson Mandela Bay traffic department deputy director Eric Tiso ensured rescuers had a traffic escort to get to the scene on Monday morning.
Members of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) named the seven-week-old puppy “Mr T” in Tiso’s honour, and lauded him for his heroics.
Tiso said he had received a call from a friend in Motherwell who told him that noises were coming from a drain in her yard.
When Tiso learnt that it could be an animal in distress, he immediately roped in the help of one of his officers, Suzette Ludeke, known for having a soft spot for animals and volunteering at the AACL.
“Imagine my surprise when my superior came running into my office and told me to stop the work I was doing because there was an animal in distress,” Ludeke said.
When the pair got to Motherwell, they lifted the drain cover to investigate.
Staring back at them was Mr T.
The puppy’s body was submerged in water up to its neck.
It is believed he had been there overnight or possibly longer.
Ludeke reached out to Liza Simpson and Beverley Rademeyer of the AACL, who then also rushed to the scene.
Because some roads had been closed to motorists due to protests, Tiso met them at a designated spot to escort them into the area.
Simpson said the rescue had been a delicate operation because one wrong move would have meant that Mr T could slide further down the drain and out of their reach.
“We managed to gently pull and nudge him out by his head,” she said.
“He was soaking wet, dehydrated and his little body was extremely cold.
“He cannot eat or sit up at this point, but he is responding to the care and love he is receiving.
“We have put him on a drip at our clinic to regain his strength.”
She said the first 48 hours were critical and everyone at the AACL was praying that Mr T survives the ordeal.
When contacted for comment, Tiso was unaware he had been dubbed a hero by the AACL.
“I was just trying to help. I am sure anyone would have done the same,” he said.
“I am happy we could rescue the little puppy and that the story had a happy ending.”
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