Tag Archives: carbon monoxide poisoning

Hero cat pounds on door; saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide kills.

Every year, on average, 430 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC.

Although you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, a Maine Coon cat named Gracie in Wisconsin somehow knew, and saved her human family from carbon monoxide poisoning by pounding on their bedroom door, thereby, waking up the husband.

WREG Channel 3 reports, March 15, 2017, that Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, woke up in the middle of the night and thought that she was having a heart attack. Her head all “fuzzy,” she got up, left the bed with her husband Kevin still sleeping, and sat in the chair in the bedroom, feeling like she was dying.

The Shanahans have an 8-year-old Maine Coon mix named Grace.

Although Gracie normally doesn’t sleep with Annette and Kevin, she began “pounding” on their bedroom door with her paw.

Kevin said: “All of the sudden Gracie, I heard she was pounding, knocking, knocking, knocking at the door. And so I got out of bed and to stop her from pounding at the door, and I looked to my left and Annette was there in the chair.”

Annette said she couldn’t breathe: “I was hanging onto the arm of the chair, and I thought I was dying.”

Annette managed to call 911.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the home, caused by a malfunction in the hot water heater.

Annette and Kevin were taken to the hospital, where they spent the night.

Kevin said: “Very lucky. If it wasn’t for the cat, I don’t know how much she was saving our lives, but she wanted to get out of there, and she knew enough to know something was wrong, and she was pounding on the door.”

Annette said: “I say saved by grace, saved by the grace of God, because Gracie doesn’t usually sleep with us.”

Manufacturers recommend that carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. The Shanahans’ detector was 15 years old. The family now has four new CO detectors of the non-feline non-Gracie variety.

Here’s the video:

See also “Animals who saved human lives: pig, dogs, gorilla, lions”.



Hero rabbit saves owners from deadly gas leak

We’ve all seen or heard news about dogs and cats saving their owners’ lives, but rabbits?

A year ago, I did a post on a pet rabbit in Alaska who saved its owners from a house fire. Sadly, the rabbit didn’t survive.

Now comes another heroic rabbit credited with saving its owners’ lives. Happily, this story has a happy ending for the rabbit as well as its people.

Jerry Slavin reports for Skew News that a pet bunny named Blazer saved her human family, Jake and Mary Pruett of Bridgeton, New Jersey, from a deadly gas leak.

Blazer, the hero bunny

Blazer has a litter box, so she is allowed to roam the house like a dog or cat. There are pet steps next to the couple’s bed which enable Blazer to get up and down, although the bunny usually comes up during the daytime when the couple is awake and rarely visits the bed during the night.

Mary Pruett recounts that at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Saturday night, Blazer woke her up by “walking on my face and making noises like a horn was stuck in her nose.” Once awake, Pruett immediately smelled the gas leak and roused her husband Jake. They quickly got out of their house with Blazer, then called the Bridgeton City fire department.

Fireman Steve Chambers observed that “it is lucky that they got out alive.  Leaks like this are often fatal either due to death from toxicity of the gas or an explosion.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are as many as 500 deaths a year due to gas leaks. Since carbon monoxide causes unconsciousness, victims who are already asleep often die without waking up.

In the case of the Pruetts, the gas leak was due to a faulty stove installation.  Firemen were able to stop the gas that same night, and the Pruetts and Blazer returned to their home the next day, Sunday, after the fumes had vented.

H/t FOTM’s Joseph.