Therapy dog stops suicidal woman from jumping off bridge

Dogs are really remarkable animals. They can bring such joy and comfort to people who really need it β€” and sometimes, their companionship can actually save lives.

That was the case recently, when a service dog helped convince a woman to back down from a suicide attempt.


Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service responded to a call about a young woman who was on the bridge over the M5 motorway near Exeter, England, ready to jump off and kill herself.

The rescue service rushed to the scene to talk the distressed woman down from the ledge… and they brought along someone special to help save the day: Digby, the service’s “defusing dog.”

Today is 'Time to talk' day and Digby our lovely therapy dog 🐢 helps our firefighters to start chatting after they have…

Posted by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on Thursday, February 6, 2020

Digby, a therapy dog, helps both firefighters and victims to feel calm after traumatic experiences, reducing the risk of PTSD.

“Digby helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy β€˜diffusing’ sessions,” Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service wrote on Facebook.

Now, Digby was being used to calm the suicidal woman. Police negotiators had been speaking to her, but the situation was worsening. The crew hoped the woman would respond positively to Digby.

Amazingly, it worked: “The young woman immediately swung her head round to look, and smiled,” the rescue service wrote.

This is Digby. Today he did something amazing and helped save a young woman who was thinking of taking her own life near…

Posted by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The woman started asking about Digby and his job with the fire service. The firefighters asked the woman if she would like to come by and meet Digby sometime, and she accepted.

This pleasant moment helped defuse the situation, and the woman backed off from her suicide attempt. It seems she is now in safe hands, as the crew wished her “all the best in her recovery.”

Her life was saved, all thanks to Digby. His story has now gone viral with over 39,000 shares on Facebook. Thousands of people have praised the dog as a hero.

Thank you ❀️ ❀️ ❀️ Digby, our very own therapy dog, is extremely grateful for all the offers of treats and gifts, but…

Posted by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on Thursday, June 17, 2021

What a great dog! Thank you, Digby, for helping to save this woman’s life! It just goes to show the difference a loving dog can make in someone’s life.

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