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Police Say Woman Tried To Drown Dog At Nantasket Beach

BOSTON (CBS) - She's still a little timid, but Foxy the terrier is doing great tonight.

"Far better than expected," according to Martha Smith-Blackmore, with the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "She went through horrible trauma and for any dog to survive that it's a miracle, but for a 14-year-old dog to survive that it's really incredible."

State Police say on Tuesday night Foxy's owner, 60-year-old Barbara O'Driscoll of Cohasset, tried to drown the 12 pound pup at Nantasket Beach.

"It's reprehensible, it's horrifying, it's terribly sad," said Smith-Blackmore. "It's sad of course from Foxy's perspective, but I also have concerns for a person that is so sick, they're potentially doing something like this."

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong reports

An eyewitness says she watched O'Driscoll drag Foxy by her leash into the ocean around 4:45 on Tuesday afternoon. The witness told police that O'Driscoll went up to her chest -- little Foxy underwater and unable to swim, for several minutes, until the eyewitness says O'Driscoll pulled the dog's lifeless body onto the shore and eventually up to her car.

That witness flagged down State Trooper Matthew Waples, who happened to be doing a routine patrol of the parking lot.

"When I saw the dog it was in the back seat of the car in the parking lot and the dog appeared to be dead," Waples said. The trooper said O'Driscoll's breath smelled of alcohol and she was not making coherent comments.

"She wasn't really making too much sense at that point in time," he explained. Published reports indicate that when asked why she had tried to drown her dog, O'Driscoll kept repeating, "It's just a dog".

Hull's animal control officer, Leslie Badger, raced to the scene, grabbed Foxy, and headed to the South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth. But on the way, Foxy's soft heartbeat started to fade.

"I kept my hand on her and as I was driving down the road I could feel that it was getting even less and less of a heartbeat," she says.

Badger made the decision to pull over on the side of the road and, "administer CPR on the dog, both chest compressions and mouth to mouth, or mouth to snout as everyone likes to say."

Foxy coughed up seawater and sand -- and hung on just long enough.

She is now spending time in a special oxygen-rich cage, with an I-V drip in her leg. Her doctors say she had made a remarkable recovery but is not yet out of the woods. Her medical care, paid by the Animal Rescue League of Boston, is expected to cost between $6,000 and $8,000.

"She's a really sweet dog," adds Martha Smith-Blackmore with the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "She's really nice, very quiet, very calm, and doesn't seem to be ruffled by all the activity in the ICU."

WBZ tried to contact O'Driscoll at her Cohasset home, but no one answered the door. A neighbor tells us Foxy actually belongs to O'Driscoll's elderly father.

In any event, the dog will not be going back there. Foxy will likely be placed in a doggy-foster home until a suitable home is found.

O'Driscoll faces charges that include animal cruelty.

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