Finding (and saving) Nemo

I think we can all agree that East Boston is not short of weird stories but this one takes the cake.

A massive effort was recently undertaken to save an animal off the shores of Eastie. No it wasn’t a harbor seal, or a beached dolphin or a small whale tangled in a fishing line but an eight-week-old, two pound Chihuahua mix breed puppy nicknamed Nemo.

Apparently Nemo had been allowed to play in the ocean at Eastie’s Constitution beach 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 the nearby veterinary clinic on Saratoga Street 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.

Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care (E/CC) service veterinarians worked quickly to stabilize the tiny puppy while saving his life.

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 offset 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. Visit to donate and for updates on Nemo’s condition.

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

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