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Dog alerts Michigan family to carbon monoxide leak inside home

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A Michigan family are crediting their dog with possibly saving their lives after his lethargy alerted them to a carbon monoxide leak inside their home.

Diane and Gary Smith said their 13-year-old cockapoo, Rascal, was showing signs of lethargy Tuesday, raising an alarm with the Zeeland family.

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"He wasn't coming right to me when I called his name, he finally came in the kitchen but he just collapsed. So I gave him some goldfish crackers and he wanted nothing to do with that, which was unusual," Diane Smith told WXMI-TV.

Smith said she took Rascal to the vet, but he seemed healthy and alert while at the office and was sent home.

She said Rascal started acting unusual again when they went back inside the house.

"I picked him up, he was just as limp as could be and we sat on the coach over there, and he was just laying there and he wasn't responding like he usually does, he just didn't seem well," she said.

Smith described the situation to a friend, who discussed it with her husband.

"She relayed it to her husband who said 'Tell her to get out of the house it might be carbon monoxide,' so I thought 'Well no, the alarm is not sounding,'" she said. "But we went out anyway and I'm really glad I did, because he was perfectly fine when he got out in the fresh air."

A repairman came to the house and discovered the furnace was leaking carbon monoxide, even though it wasn't registering on the home's detector.

"The furnace guy said we could have a low-level leak that's not high enough to register on the detector and who knows how long that may have been going on," Gary Smith said. "Even though it's not ready to kill you it's still going to affect you, particularly dogs it affects more than people."

The Smiths said they replaced the furnace and bought a newer, more sensitive carbon monoxide detector. Rascal is now doing much better, they said.

"We are thankful for him for sounding that alarm, because the other alarm did not sound," Diane Smith said.

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