‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

A freelance journalist says the rescue of a dog trapped under the rubble was “a little bright spot” amid the chaos in an Ottawa neighbourhood ravaged by a tornado.

Matt Day was in Dunrobin Friday evening, interviewing residents and trying to get a sense of the destruction caused by the twister that ripped through the Ottawa-Gatineau area hours earlier.

“Looking around, you could see that homes were just completely totalled; I was talking to one family outside of their house and they were telling me their second floor was on their front lawn,” said Day, 30.

He said he heard a commotion across the street as he was speaking to families, and found out there was a dog — a beagle named Charlie — trapped underneath a pile of rubble.

“Someone says, ‘we found a dog under the rubble,’ and you think the worst. I was not prepared to go over and see that sight,” he said.

“We didn’t know if it was injured, or anything.”

Day and other members of the media rushed to the scene, some pulling their phones out to illuminate the area, which was being rapidly cast into shadow by the setting sun.

“It was that fine line as a journalist. Do you help, or do you do your job?” he said. “And at that moment, I felt I could do both.”

A video posted to his Twitter account shows two men, identified by Day as neighbours of dog’s owners, pulling the pet to safety.

After the beagle was freed, Day said he seemed anxious and a little scared, but ultimately unharmed.

“He looked really rough, but he was alive … he seemed to be okay,” he said.

“It was a little bright spot in the middle of all the chaos.”

He said the group effort shows the strength of a community sticking together in a dark time.

The Canadian Press

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