A DOG owner has praised a “hero” who helped save his pooch’s life by instructing him on how to give vital CPR after his beloved pet collapsed during a walk.
Gwyn Parks, 22, was out with springer spaniel Winnie on Exmouth Beach in Devon on Monday when she began having a “fit” and stopped breathing.
Gwyn’s panic alerted the attention of passerby Neil Kearsley, who immediately leapt into action and began to explain how to perform CPR.
Rugby player Gwyn then used all his effort to revive his beloved dog, as people around him scrambled to get help.
Quick-thinking Neil also ended up performing CPR on Winnie himself in a bid to revive her.
Gwyn explained on Facebook: “Just as we were walking back to the car, Winnie’s’ back legs were starting to give way and I could tell that something wasn’t quite right with her.
“It also caught the attention of a nice gentleman called Neil Kearsley who called over and asked ‘if everything was alright?’
“At this point my dog went into what looked like a fit. The fit lasted a few minutes with Winnie eventually not responding nor breathing.
“Neil’s quick thinking of giving CPR and instructing me what to do brought Winnie back to life but barely.”
A friend of Gwyn’s then tried to get onto the beach to assist, but his vehicle got stuck in the sand.
Gwyn explained: “In the shock of all of this happening, this is when my friend tried to drive his car onto the beach to try and pick her up to take her to the vets.
“Unfortunately he got stuck meaning that I had to run her up the beach where Neil continued CPR and myself performing mouth to mouth.”
Eventually police turned up and blue lighted the pair to a local vet, where Winnie was treated before being returned home.
A relieved Gwyn took to Facebook to thank those involved in the rescue shortly after collecting Winnie from the vets on Tuesday.
He added: “I just wanted to thank absolutely everyone for their efforts.
“From the people who pulled my friends car off the sand, the police for blue lighting us to the vets and being so understanding.
“People who called the vets and were so nice, everyone at Raddenstiles- from the vet, to the nurse who stayed with her all night and even the kind receptionists.
“But most of all Neil Kearsley, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you all. I’ve got my Winnie back.”
Speaking today, sport science student Gwyn said: “It was just shock and confusion at the time, obviously a bit of panic.
“Neil composed be a bit and then the adrenaline kicked in.
“He started off the CPR and I was listening and then later doing the mouth-to-mouth.
“Winnie is okay, I think she’s back to normal. The vets ran some tests but they’re not sure what happened.
“They think she just overdid it running and swimming.
“It’s hard to describe the full picture to people who weren’t there, it was all a bit chaotic.
“I think it’s horrible for anyone to see any animal like that but the stars just aligned.
“If it wasn’t for Neil and if the police car hadn’t have been there, everything just aligned and worked out.
“I can’t believe the response it’s had. I think the best thing for me is that it’s highlighted that you can do CPR for a dog or a cat or whatever.
“I had people telling me they didn’t know you could but now they do.”
While Neil, 40, explained his role as a support worker perfectly prepared him for the crisis.
He explained: “I’m a support worker for adults with learning difficulties so it’s part of my training.
“I also own two dogs so did look up about dog CPR a few months back when mine had a seizure.
“Whilst it was happening I was on auto pilot. We were doing CPR on the beach for about 5 minutes and I realised we had to get her to the vet.
“Just lucky the police were driving by and assisted in taking the dog to vets under blue lights.”