Dog lost after owner injured by lightning strike returned safely

A dog separated from its owner after the human was injured in a lightning strike has been found and returned to its family.

Bruce, the Australian shepherd was understandably spooked enough to run away from his owner on Saturday morning after the unidentified 31-year-old was injured by a nearby lightning strike which left her unconscious and another person injured.

“According to Missing Dogs Massachusetts and Massachusetts Pet Locator sites and other social media, Bruce was found and returned to his family,” a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police told the Herald on Sunday.

The  injured woman remains in critical condition, according to state Police.

The reunification of Bruce with his family comes after police responded to Malibu Beach on Saturday afternoon.

Just after 3:30 p.m. officers arrived to find Bruce’s owner unresponsive and receiving CPR from witnesses, one of whom was Tracy Cronin, an off-duty ICU nurse who works at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The dogwalker had apparently stopped to speak with an unidentified 49-year-old woman when lightning landed close enough to them that the strike threw both of them into the air. The second victim told responding emergency crews she would see to her own medical care. The 31-year-old’s pants were burned by the blast, Cronin told reporters on Saturday.

According to a spokesperson for the union representing the EMTs which responded to the scene, while lightning strikes are something their staff are prepared to handle, it’s certainly not a routine call to receive.

“Lightning strikes are very rare – with only around 300 happening per year in the US. Our providers are all highly trained in cardiac arrest managers and worked diligently providing CPR, a breathing tube, as well as administering several medications during the resuscitation,” they said.

The Facebook group “Missing Dogs of Massachusetts” reported Bruce was found very early Sunday morning.

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