Dog saves Iowa family from carbon monoxide poisoning

“Mild-mannered” pooch alerted sleeping owners to potentially deadly gas leak at Ankeny home.


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Brad Harbert sitting on sofa with his son, father, and their dog
Brad Harbert (left) with his son, father and their beloved dog Roxy

A special dog is set to take pride of place among an Iowa family this Christmas after saving her owners from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Roxy, a usually “mild-mannered” husky/coonhound mix, came to the rescue on Monday night as three generations of the Harbert family slept, unaware that the deadly gas was leaking inside their Ankeny home.

 “She just was jumping off my bed, jumping back up on the bed. When I started to come to, I was hearing an alarm, and it wasn’t the smoke alarm,” Brad Habert, 37, told WHO-DT.

“I jumped out of bed. Right when I did, Roxy came out to the hallway … I grabbed the [carbon monoxide] detector and found out that if it chirps four times … there’s active carbon monoxide in the house.”

Harbert ushered his son and father to safety outside, together with their heroic hound, before calling 911. Officials later determined that the potentially fatal odorless gas was leaking from Harbert’s electric and gas fireplace.

Harbert was overwhelmed by emotion while describing Roxy’s life-saving response, telling the local station: “She’s pretty special to us.”

“I could tell something was wrong that night that she woke me up and just her actions, she was kind of shivering and just really concerned that we would get outside,” he said.

“[I’m] very, very happy to have a dog and very happy to have her,” Harbert added.

More than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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