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“Miracle Dog” Rescued from Wreck that Killed his Owner. Dog Transported by Ambulance to Vet Hospital.

Here is a story you don’t hear of every day.

Timothy Gerald died in a vehicle wreck Saturday afternoon in York Maine. Paramedics determined that Gerald, 48, was deceased and there was nothing they could do for him. Gerald’s dog, Jakey, was also in the vehicle at the time of the wreck. Crews extricated Jakey from the wreck and transported him to the emergency veterinarian for care. The medics were also able to treat Jakey with IV and oxygen therapy due to blood loss from a bad laceration.

Jakey, a 9-year-old golden retriever, is recovering after surgery following an accident that killed his owner. Jenn Hilton of York, seen in back, is the niece of the driver who died, 48-year-old Timothy Gerald.

Paramedics were sure that there was coverage in the area while they transported Jakey to the emergency vet.

Due to Gerald’s untimely death, the family is seeking help in paying for Jakey’s emergency vet bills.


A lot of the firefighters went to school with Gerald or knew him because he was related to a volunteer firefighter, according to York Village Fire Chief Chris Balentine.

“A lot of guys knew who he was,” which made responding to the accident that much harder, said Balentine, who was at the scene.

Gerald’s niece, Jenn Hilton of York, said she is married to volunteer firefighter Nick Hilton.

A fund has been set up here

Read more about the wreck on

What do you think? Would you have transported the dog? Would you have done something different?


Comments - Add Yours

  • Martha

    God Bless you!!!

  • carol

    Bravo to the responders who did the right thing for this injured animal. For those that have a problem with him being transported by ambulance to a vet hospital I say to you your lack of compassion is heart wrenching to those of us who appreciate the love and non judgemental loyality of our pets. Pets have been known to save their owner under many situations..alerting them for fires, medical issues, giving their lives to protect their masters. Dogs of war do this every day , search and recover dogs are always in jeopardy. They ask nothing in return not caring how poor we are or even neglectful in some unfortunate cases. Think again next time you think they are not worthy to ride in an ambulance to save their life thru no fault of their own..Speedy recovery to Jakey and rest in peace Tim.. A grateful owner of 11 strays over a greater love !


    “What do you think? Would you have transported the dog?”

    Having been involved in a similar scenario in which we transported both the dog and his owner in separate ambulances, I see the question in this circumstance, with the caveat of knowing adequate coverage is available should the need arise for another call, as “Could you leave the dog to suffer and die?”

    We couldn’t, and didn’t, and it was the right choice.

    I also believe it serves the public trust and image of the FF/EMS for us to do this when possible; for example we are starting to see more and more apparatus equipped with special O2 delivery masks meant for dogs, and when a person or family has already suffered injuries to themselves, loss of a loved one, or had their home and possessions destroyed, the survival of a pet can mean the world to them and aid in their grief and healing. They are family too.

    “Would you have done something different?”

    One way or another on this particular scene or any other like it, as circumstances dictated I would have treated the dog to the best of my ability and transported him to an emergency vet whether by ambulance, cruiser or POV. If the area had a readily available and able to respond ‘pet ambulance’ that would be another choice, as many 24hr emergency veterinary hospitals are starting to offer this service as well.

    It’s something worth being ready for and aware of — look at the proliferation of images and stories of pets being rescued from fires and other disasters being shared over social media — a terrified cat clinging to a firefighter’s shoulder or a cradled kitten being given oxygen, a pet rabbit in its hutch rescued from rising floodwaters, the roundly pregnant dog licking the face of a FF onscene at a house fire. This is one more that will be making the rounds for awhile.

    It may also help lead to less entrapment rescues and loss of life; how many times have we heard “He/She got out but went back in for the pet/s and never came out” — a statement even found on one of the related links listed above:

    “WARNING: This video is graphic and depicts a man being rescued from his burning home. ( On NewsWorking’s website, an accompanying article tells of firefighters arriving to a woman telling them her husband went back into their burning home to rescue their dog.”

    If there is even one human life saved and one rescuer NOT put at undue risk because there is trust that we can and will make the effort for the family pets when possible, isn’t it worth it?