Dog Caught in Escalator Loses Toes, Heads Home to Recover

June 22, 2012

Boston, Mass., June 22, 2012 – When Tonecia Johnson’s beloved dog “Mace” playfully chased her young niece up an escalator earlier this week, the Dorchester resident could never imagine what would happen next.  Upon reaching the top of the escalator at the Forest Hills “T” station Mace’s rear left leg became trapped in the moving stairs, severely injuring his foot.


Shocked by the cries of her beloved 9-month old dog, Tonecia managed to free Mace from the escalator and immediately took him to Angell Animal Medical Center, where doctors in the Emergency & Critical Care Unit evaluated the dog’s injuries.  Said Dr. Ashley Davis: “When Mace arrived he was clearly in a lot of pain and very frightened.  The first order of business was to establish that his vital signs were normal—and they were—and we immediately started him on pain medicine before conducting further analysis of his foot.”


The doctors concluded that Mace’s foot was so damaged that surgery was scheduled the following day to remove two of his toes.  Doctors at Angell expect Mace will make a full recovery and will even learn to walk just as well as before on his now slightly altered hind leg.


Escalators and Dogs: The Hidden Danger

Many pet owners do not understand the danger escalators and moving walkways pose to pets, who do not know that they need to lift their feet at the top to avoid being trapped by the “combs” at the top.  Every year veterinarians at Angell see on average two to three dogs whose legs and feet have been mangled by escalators—and in most cases emergency surgery is necessary for the animal to recover.  Said Davis, “This is a very serious issue; most of us don’t think twice when stepping onto an escalator but it’s crucial for all of us to understand that dogs have no sense of the danger awaiting them at the top.  If anything positive can come from Mace’s ordeal, it’s the awareness that his story will generate.”


Tonecia is grateful to have Mace back with her and is keeping close tabs on his recovery.  “Had I known the escalator could have harmed him I never would have allowed him to use it,” she said.  “I’m grateful that he is on the road to recovery and I credit the doctors at Angell with saving his life.”





Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.