A Missouri woman is accused of misusing 911 when she called to report that her dog had collapsed. Oreo, the woman’s 140-pound Great Dane collapsed upon returning home from a walk on Easter Sunday. In a panic, she dialed 911 for help. Rose Lakey, a resident of O’Fallon, MO, must now pay a fine after dialing 911 and claiming that her “daughter” needed emergency assistance.
Lakey says that in her panic, she might have minced words, as her adult daughter was with her at the time. She says that during her call, she said her dog collapsed, but later might have referred to her as her “daughter.” It’s an easy mistake to make, especially in the midst of a panic, as we think of our dogs as members of our family.
When police and paramedics arrived at the scene, Lakey says one paramedic entered the room then threw her hands up, saying “It’s just a dog.” While paramedics did help the Lakeys put Oreo into their car, it was too late for the dog. Oreo died at an emergency animal hospital.
As if mourning the death of her dog wasn’t enough, police visited the Lakey home the following day with a notice of the violation.
Lakey told St. Louis Today she didn’t say the word daughter on purpose. “I think everyone has said something wrong in the heat of the moment,” she said, “like called their child by the wrong name.”
This is a sad story that has no happy ending for anyone involved. Do you feel that 911 and other emergency services should have animal assistance available? Or, do you feel the Lakeys were rightfully charged for misusing the system? We’d love to hear your thoughts!