A remarkable dog in Japan has earned hero status for her life-saving actions after she alerted others to a man having a heart attack by incessantly barking. Local fire officials in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City, held a special ceremony to honor the courageous pooch Koume, a 5-year-old mongrel, and presented her with an official letter of appreciation. On February 25, at a horse riding club where Koume resides, a man in his fifties suddenly collapsed. Despite her typically calm demeanor, Koume sprang into action and raised the alarm with her urgent barks, prompting immediate assistance from nearby individuals. Yuna Maruo, a 23-year-old riding instructor who participated in the rescue, explained that Koume is typically a quiet dog and rarely barks. However, Maruo noted that in situations of emergency, Koume instinctively starts barking.

The Wakaba Fire Department emphasized the importance of vigilance and responsiveness to even the slightest changes, as they enable prompt life-saving interventions for heart attack victims. They commended Koume’s call for help and the swift actions taken by the club’s staff, deeming them flawless responses. Thanks to Koume’s timely alert, the staff promptly contacted an ambulance, and paramedics were able to utilize an automated external defibrillator on the collapsed rider, saving his life. Remarkably, the man has since returned to horseback riding at the club, grateful for Koume’s heroic act. The horse riding club has a tradition of employing female canines as mascots, warmly welcoming club members for generations. According to Maruo, Koume had previously displayed her attentiveness by drawing attention to a horse attempting to escape and by assisting an elderly horse struggling to stand.