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updated: 10/19/2012 4:00 PM

French dog poisoned and buried alive survives

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  • Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal protection association, holds Jack Russell terrier Ethan Friday, at his new home in Charleville Mezieres, eastern France.

      Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal protection association, holds Jack Russell terrier Ethan Friday, at his new home in Charleville Mezieres, eastern France.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

PARIS -- A Jack Russell terrier has survived after being poisoned and buried alive -- and he can thank the man who saw the ground wiggle.

Ethan came back to life on his third birthday after someone tried to kill him. He had a whole chain of saviors: the man who dug him up, the firefighters who rushed him off and a veterinarian who nursed him back to life.

Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal association in Charleville-Mezieres, 125 miles northeast of Paris, said Friday the little white dog with a black ear was "flat as a pancake" when he was dug up from his grave Tuesday near a lakeside pedestrian path.

"It's extraordinary. We only see this in TV movies," said veterinarian Philippe Michon. "He came back to life and without a scratch. It's rather miraculous."

The vet said when firemen brought the dirt-covered terrier to his office "he was completely cold, he was barely breathing."

Michon used hot water bottles to warm up Ethan's seemingly lifeless body. The dog was so cold his veins had collapsed and it was hard to find one to hydrate him but within 24 hours the dog was back on his feet.

According to the veterinarian and Zamora, a man walking by just happened to see the ground moving -- an apparent result of convulsions from the dog's poisoning. The man then got a shovel and dug the dog up.

Ethan was identified through a microchip that showed all this happened on his third birthday.

His owner says he had given the dog away but police are investigating, Zamora said.

"(Ethan) had an unbelievable chain of luck," Michon said. "If the ground hadn't trembled, no one would have taken a shovel to it."

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