A horrific tragedy was averted in the city of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, when a falling dog escaped death by a hair’s breadth, thanks to a passerby with lightening presence of mind.
A Shih Tzu named Mel was playing in her balcony on the 9th floor, when she suddenly climbed on the railing and couldn’t get back down. She was stuck and could fall to her death at any moment. That’s when a passerby named Joao Augusto heard the dog barking for help and looked up. As soon as he saw the dog he knew disaster was afoot and he had to do something immediately.
He called out to the building caretaker, Paulo Narciso, who immediately opened the gate and followed Augusto towards where the dog was barking. Augusto told Narciso to get a towel or sheet to catch Mel.
“I didn’t really understand at the time. I opened the gate and went with the man,” Narciso told reporters. “We got there and saw that the dog was curled over the railing and was going to fall. I went up to the flat but the owner wasn’t home.”
But before Narciso could get the sheet, Mel slipped and began to fall from the 100ft high, 9th floor balcony. As Mel was hurtling towards the ground, Augusto quickly positioned himself to catch her, or at least break her fall. Security footage shows Augusto stretching his arms out and getting ready to catch Mel.
“I asked for a towel or a sheet to help in some way, but there wasn’t enough time. Then, she fell from the ninth floor. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to catch her but I was aware that I could cushion the fall,” Augusto told reporters. “I was on the floor for a few seconds but it was from relief. I think that I was in the right place at the right time. I did what I could, the most I could to help. It was a joint effort with the caretaker who acted quickly to help the dog. It was a happy ending.”
Although Mel slipped from his arms, Augusto’s body broke her fall and saved her from certain death. He lay on the floor in relief for a few moments. The dog can be seen looking back at Augusto (possibly saying thank you) before running away. Then, the towel Narciso threw falls on Augusto.
Augusto’s quick thinking and actions helped save this little dog’s life. The dog’s owners are incredibly grateful to Augusto and Narciso for saving their beloved pet. They have now put up a safety net in their balcony so that Mel is safe in the future. Thanks to Augusto for being the hero of the day and saving a precious life with his quick thinking!
Check out the video below to watch Augusto save Mel’s life.