Sun, Feb 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

‘Iron Hero’ returns to post

By Tsai Shu-yuan and Hsu Kuo-chen  /  Staff reporters

Tie-hsiung (“Iron Hero”), a Taichung Fire Department rescue dog, yesterday holds his bag of medicine in his mouth after being treated for an injury to his paw that he sustained when finding an earthquake survivor at the Marshal Hotel in Hualien.

Photo: Copy by Hsu Kuo-chen, Taipei Times

By Tsai Shu-yuan

and Hsu Kuo-chen

Staff Reporters

Tie-hsiung (“Iron Hero,” 鐵雄), a four-year-old yellow Labrador who was injured in Hualien during a search-and-rescue mission, yesterday returned to his post after receiving medical treatment at National Chung Hsing University’s Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital.

Immediately following Tuesday’s magnitude 6 earthquake, the Taichung Fire Department dispatched 26 rescue workers and two rescue dogs — Tie-hsiung and Tui-tui (“Leggy,” 腿腿).

Using his excellent sense of smell, Tie-hsiung found two people, including survivor Liang Shu-wei (梁書瑋), a Marshal Hotel employee who had been trapped for 15 hours.

After four rescue missions, a dog handler noticed that Tie-hsiung was constantly shaking his head and scratching his ear.

Tie-hsiung was on Thursday taken to a veterinarian and diagnosed with acute inflammation of the ear.

Then on Friday, Tie-hsiung stepped on gasoline with an open wound, causing him to limp.

The rescue team returned to Taichung with the dogs on Friday night and yesterday took Tie-hsiung to the veterinary hospital.

The dog was examined by hospital head Chang Chao-chin (張照勤) and 14 other veterinarians.

Tie-hsiung had inflamed toes, puncture wounds, lacerations on his front right paw and a yeast infection in his ear, veterinarian Lin Hsun-lung (林荀龍) said.

The veterinarians sterilized and bandaged Tiexiong’s wounds and prescribed medication, which he carried in a bag in his mouth.

After joining the fire department in 2016, Tie-hsiung passed the Mission Readiness Test and received certification in rubble search and tracking, department chief Hsiao Huan-chang (蕭煥章) said.

Tie-hsiung and Tui-tui were trained at about the same time and are both four-star officers, he added.

In response to netizens’ suggestions that Tie-hsiung should be promoted and rewarded with extra food, Hsiao said that since he was the first rescue dog to find survivors, the department is looking into promoting him and he would surely be given extra food as a reward.

Hospital president Hsueh Fu-cheng (薛富盛) said the university would ink a partnership with the fire department to provide health checks for rescue dogs before and after rescue missions to ensure that they are in good health.

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