Dog poisoned and buried alive rescued in France

Last Tuesday, a man was taking a walk on a scenic path near the French town of Charleville-Mezieres when he spotted something unusual — a patch of dirt just off the trail seemed to be…shaking.

Animal-rights advocate Sabrina Zamora and Ethan, a dog who survived being poisoned and buried alive. (Photo credit: AP)

Stunned, the man stepped closer to get a better look. Indeed, the ground was moving, the soil giving a “slight wiggle.” It was as if something was there, something buried underneath the surface.

The man sprang into action, pushing the dirt aside. When firefighters arrived on scene, they brought a shovel and began digging into the earth. What they found was a little white dog with one black ear, a Jack Russell Terrier. The dog was near death, his breathing shallow.

Ethan was described by Charleville-Mezieres animal rescue advocate Sabrina Zamora as “flat as a pancake” when rescuers unearthed the little dog.

Firefighters raced the dog to a nearby veterinarian for emergency treatment. Dr. Philippe Michon was the first to examine the little Terrier.

“He was completely cold, he was barely breathing,” Michon described. Using hot water bottles, Michon was able to revive the dog, who was back on his feet within a mere 24 hours.

“It’s extraordinary,” remarked Michon. “We only see this in TV movies.”

Michon has since determined the dog had been poisoned before being buried near the path in Charleville-Mezieres. The dirt was likely shaking because the poison the dog ingested was causing convulsions.

Michon said that the fact the pup came away from his ordeal not only alive but unscathed is something more than luck. “He came back to life without a scratch,” Michon said. “It’s rather miraculous.”

Since his dramatic rescue, the little pooch has been named Ethan. Dr. Michon scanned little Ethan for a microchip and discovered his previous owner. When police contacted the man, he explained that he had given the dog away. Due to the severe cruelty with which Ethan was treated, investigators are still looking into the Terrier’s history, trying to determine who would have poisoned and then buried an innocent dog alive.

In the meantime, a happy, healthy Ethan celebrated his third birthday at Dr. Michon’s office.

“[Ethan] had an unbelievable chain of luck,” said Michon of the series of events that led to the little JRT’s rescue. “If the ground hadn’t trembled, no one would have taken a shovel to it.”