3:05 AM PDT, June 22, 2021
A therapy dog is being hailed a hero after saving a woman who authorities said was on the verge of jumping off a bridge, according to authorities.
Digby the 3-year-old chocolate-colored labradoodle helped save a young woman attempting to take her own life on a bridge over the M5 near Exeter in southwestern England on Tuesday, officials said.
Multi-agency crews arrived at the scene, including the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. When police negotiators realized they weren’t making the progress they had hoped, a member of the team suggested they called Digby.
Digby came right to the rescue. And his temperament, empathy and goofy expressions apparently went a long way. He knew exactly what to do in the emergency situation he and his team members were faced with.
“There was an immediate response,” Matt Goodman, Digby’s handler, said on BBC Breakfast. He noted they were nearby when he was called upon for assistance.
“The young woman immediately swung her head round to look, and smiled,” the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said on Twitter.
The dog and woman made contact. Soon thereafter, rescuers were able to engage with the young woman.
“When asked if she would like to come and meet Digby if she came back over the railings, (which we are pleased to say) she did,” the service wrote.
“It was a really great outcome,” Goodman told the BBC.
Digby typically helps firefighters in therapy sessions deal with trauma.
Since news of the rescue broke, Digby has been getting spoiled with treats and gifts galore.
“Digby is very grateful for all the offers,” DSFRS wrote. “But he would rather you donate to people who are in difficult situations.”
He’s also been getting the attention of random strangers, with some even calling him a “TV star.”
“Bless him, he is very famous now, we were all talking about him at work yesterday,” said one woman.
“My heart’s been stolen by this beautiful boy. What a star,” wrote another person.