Labrador helps save Arizona man stranded in snowstorm

AP News
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Posted: Apr 28, 2016 10:41 AM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Police say a man wearing only a T-shirt during a snowstorm would have frozen to death at the base of an Arizona mountain had it not been for an alert 2-year-old black Labrador mix.

Flagstaff officer Melissa Seay says the dog named Marley heard the man's cries for help, according to The Arizona Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1XWOYrO).

The dog's owner, John Paul Roccaforte, said he let Marley go outside around 1 a.m. when he started barking and wouldn't stop.

"He just kind of starts really sniffing around and then starts barking," Roccaforte said. "He just wouldn't let up. He was relentless."

Roccaforte said he went outside and eventually heard someone moaning and calling for help. He called 911. Paramedics and law enforcement arrived around 1:20 a.m.

First responders found a man who appeared to be in his mid-20s lying in a secluded area nearby. The man was wearing only a T-shirt with no coat. It was about 32 degrees at the time.

"If that dog hadn't heard him out there, he would have definitely frozen to death for sure," Seay said. "He was soaking wet. He had cuts and abrasions all over his legs because he had fallen. He was just sitting there freezing. He couldn't even walk. Without a doubt, he would have died due to exposure."

The man was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center. He survived his injuries, though the hospital has not released an update on the man's condition.

After the rescue Marley was rewarded with cuddles and treats as well as an informal hero designation, which Roccaforte said the pup doesn't think too much of.

"He was his regular old self," Roccaforte said. "He was like, 'Yeah, I'm just doing my job.'"

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/