The Scottsdale Police 911 call center received a 911 call on September 10 at about 11:45 AM. The 911 operator, Chris Trott, a veteran police dispatcher, had never had a call like this before. This call was from a dog. On the other end of the phone, she heard the whimpering and barking of “Buddy”, a trained assistance dog.

“Buddy” is an 18 month old German shepherd. He was trained by his owner, Joe, to call 911 whenever he has a seizure. Joe was injured while serving his country in the US military and the injuries cause him to have seizures and blackouts. He got buddy through the help of “Paws For A Cause” assistance animal adoption service.

“Hello, this is 911. Hello . . . Can you hear me? Is there somebody there you can give the phone to?” the emergency worker asks. Buddy responds by barking and whimpering, but the operator stays on the line because any call from his owner, Joe Stalnaker, brings up an alert on the emergency computer system to say that a trained assistance dog may call when his master is incapacitated.

Chris Trott, the emergency despatcher who took the latest call, said that it was the first time in her five years in the job that she had received an emergency call from a dog.

Mr Stalnaker trained Buddy to pick up the telephone and bring it to him whenever he falls. All the buttons are programmed to call the emergency operator.

He said: “He doesn’t actually sit there and dial 911, but whenever he picks up the phone, one of his teeth inevitably hits the number, and if it’s held down for more than three seconds, it dials the police department.”