Mouth-to-mouth saves Salty the dog

WE only hope he brushed his teeth afterwards.

Ballarat man Steve Hunter has been hailed a hero after he performed mouth-to-mouth (or should that be mouth-to-snout?) resuscitation on a dog to prolong its life after it was hit by a car yesterday.

Mr Hunter was making a plaster delivery when Salty, a Fox Terrier-Jack Russell cross, suddenly ran out of a driveway on Doveton Street and was clipped by an oncoming car.

Salty looked to be gone, but Mr Hunter thought otherwise. 

He carried the dog to the side of the road, puckered up and, to use his words, “did the deed”.

“I gave him CPR, did the whole works. I pulled his jaws apart – and by the way he didn’t brush his teeth,” he said.

“I pulled them apart, I got as close as I could and I was blowing air in his throat and with one hand giving him CPR on his ribcage.

“I thought ‘you’ve gotta give him half a chance’, because you never know.”

Thankfully, Salty took his chance and came around long enough for a trip to the Eureka Veterinary Hospital where he was cared for by surgical veterinarian Albert Lim.

The lucky five-year-old pooch is doing fine now, comparatively, with a few cuts to the head and a fractured pelvis.

Mr Hunter recounted the story yesterday to the grateful Maule family, who didn’t know the identity of their dog’s saviour until they got a call from The Courier.

Jock Maule said Salty had been through a tough run, after an early run-in with a barbed wire fence, but that was nothing compared to this.

“When I saw him lying there I thought he was gone. Mate, you’re a friggin’ hero,” Mr Maule told Mr Hunter. 

Salty’s family includes Archie, 8, and Jamie, 5, who were happy to see Salty back on his paws, albeit gingerly. 

He’s also an unofficial mascot for the Forest Rangers Soccer Club, where he would have been sorely missed had he not made it.

With his Harley Davidson motorbike and long beard, Mr Hunter might look like a tough guy, but clearly he has a soft spot for rugged dogs like Salty.

“They’re resilient little buggers, if you give them a chance they’ll kick in. They’re tougher than a human that way,” he said.

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