Clarise Fairbanks' birthday started off normal enough. The Fairhaven resident's plans included running her 10-year-old poodle Casper to the groomer. At around 7:30 this morning, her birthday turned into one she'll never forget.

"Police, firefighters, the vets, everyone all said the same thing: 'We've never seen anything like this before.'"

Somehow, Casper's head ended up getting caught between the driver's seat crossbars, the car's floor, and the motor that moves the seat back and forth. To make matters worse, Casper's fur and got caught inside the motor. When firefighters and police arrived, the first concern was that Casper's breathing was compromised because of the super-tight surroundings.

Courtesy of Fairhaven Police Department
Courtesy of Fairhaven Police Department
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Fairhaven Police Captain Michael Botelho told us that police and firefighters worked together to partially remove the seat, but they were still unable to free the dog.

"After working to free the dog for half an hour to an hour, because the dog was conscious throughout the whole ordeal, we decided that we needed to get him to New England Animal Hospital," he said.

First responders put the seat back together, and after testing it out to make sure it wouldn't crush the dog, they sat in the driver's seat and carefully drove the dog up Sconticut Neck and to the vet.

"It was touch and go there for a while. We were worried. There was a lot of pressure on his windpipe," Botelho said.

Courtesy of Fairhaven Police Department
Courtesy of Fairhaven Police Department
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Fairbanks said the ride was "just awful." She was laying down on the floor of the backseat trying to console Casper.

"I was holding him so he wouldn't move when we went over the bumps of the road," she said. "Every time he moved, we were afraid it would get tighter and tighter."

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Fairbanks couldn't say enough about the way everyone worked together to save her dog's life.

"The whole entire town came together. It was unbelievable," she said. "Police, firefighters, the vets, everyone all said the same thing: 'We've never seen anything like this before.'"

When they got the dog to the vet, who rushed into work early for the emergency, Casper was sedated, the seat was removed, and after two hours the dog was finally freed.

"It was traumatic," Fairbanks said.

Casper is recovering from the ordeal at the animal hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery after suffering minor injuries.

New England Animal Hospital
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Assisting in the rescue were Lieutenant Josh Benoit of the Fairhaven Fire Department, Dr. Nicholas Dagenais of New England Animal Hospital, Fairhaven Police Officer Laurie Cannon, Sergeant Matthew Botelho, Captain Michael Botelho, and Fairhaven Animal Control Officer Evan DeSousa.

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