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Should L.A. firefighters have risked their lives to save a dog? Tell us what you think [Updated]

January 22, 2010 |  3:47 pm

Talkbackla The rescue of a dog by an army of firefighters and swift-rescue personnel has been the talk of Los Angeles. It was broadcast live on local TV and has sparked much debate.

Should fire personnel have risked their lives to save the dog?

LAFD Capt. Steve Ruda said the firefighter, Joe St. Georges, who rescued the dog has significant bite injuries to his right hand and forearm, and is being treated in the emergency room at L.A. County-USC Medical Center.

“They are waiting for a hand specialist to come in because of the significance of the injuries,” Ruda said. The dog will be tested for rabies, and is being cared for at the county's Animal Care shelter in Downey, he said.

[Updated at 6 p.m.: St. Georges, wearing a bandage on his hand, was released from the hospital and spoke to the media.

"The dog was trying to get out of the channel, and that was not going to happen," he said, explaining why officials decided to act.

He said the dog "started snapping at me" when he tried to put a capture restraint on the canine. He said he got one bite to the thumb.

St. Georges was asked why he decided to risk his life. He said officials worried that someone without training would attempt to rescue the dog because the scene was being broadcast on TV.]

Share your views below.

--Seema Mehta and Shelby Grad

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