MSPCA-Angell Press Release

Chihuahua Puppy “Lucky to be Alive” after nearly Drowning in Ocean

September 22, 2010

UPDATE 9/28/10: The MSPCA has announced the application process for Nemo's potential adopters. All applications must be received by 5pm, Wednesday, September 29th. Read more here.

Angell Emergency and Critical Care service continue to monitor “Nemo”

 Angell's Emergency and Critical Care staff members supplied Nemo with much needed oxygen (above) when he was admitted to the animal hospital. Nemo rests in an oxygen cage (below) after he was stabilized.

An eight-week-old, two pound Chihuahua mix breed puppy nicknamed Nemo, was rushed to Angell Animal Medical Center after nearly drowning in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday. Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care (E/CC) service veterinarians worked quickly to stabilize the tiny puppy while saving his life.

Nemo had been allowed to play in the ocean at an East Boston beach yesterday by his owner. The small dog quickly fell victim to the cold waves; water filling his tiny lungs as he gasped for air. He was brought to a nearby veterinary clinic before being rushed to Angell’s E/CC service. Angell’s emergency veterinary staff members quickly evaluated Nemo’s condition and discovered that his core body temperature had dropped extremely low, well past the level that can cause spontaneous cardiac arrest. His lungs had also filled with salt water and X-rays later confirmed that his stomach was full of the air that he gulped while gasping for breath in the frigid waters.

Once Nemo was stabilized, his owner decided to surrender him to the MSPCA’s Animal Care and Adoption Center due to the extent of the injuries and level of continued care still required to save his life. Early estimates range from $1,000-$2,000 as staff members continue to monitor Nemo for mental and motor function. He is currently living in an oxygen cage to provide the rich oxygen that will off set the effects of the salt water still in his lungs.

“We will continue to monitor Nemo’s health, including any affect this may have had to his future mental capacity,” said MSPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center director Amanda Kennedy. “Nemo is lucky to be alive. We urge pet owners to always consider the consequences of their actions with pets and to consult their veterinarian regarding appropriate activities, especially for puppies and kittens. A fun activity can quickly become life threatening if pet owners are not vigilant.”

Donations are being accepted for the MSPCA-Boston’s Spike’s Fund to help animals in need like Nemo.

To contact Angell Animal Medical Center with a pet related emergency please call (617) 522-7282. To find out more about Angell Animal Medical Center's Emergency and Critical Care service please visit