<p>Digby the “defusing” dog has been praised online</p>

Digby the “defusing” dog has been praised online

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

A dog has been hailed on social media, after helping to stop a woman from taking her own life.

Emergency services were called on Tuesday morning after concerns over a woman’s welfare who was seen on the bridge on the A379 near Exeter, Devon.

Police negotiators were speaking with the woman but the situation was becoming “increasingly worrying.”

That’s when Digby, the “defusing” dog, was brought in to help. The pooch helps fire crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy sessions.

His presence helped the woman to come back over the railings and ultimately saved her life, according to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The service also posted a glowing status on social media about Digby’s heroic role.

The post reads: “This is Digby. Today he did something amazing and helped save a young woman who was thinking of taking her own life on a bridge over the M5 near Exeter.

“We were at the incident as part of a multi-agency response. Police negotiators were speaking with the woman but the situation was becoming increasingly worrying.

“One of the fire crews had the idea to bring along Digby, our ‘defusing’ dog. Digby helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy ‘diffusing’ sessions.

“When Digby arrived, the young woman immediately swung her head round to look, and smiled.

“This got a conversation started about Digby and his role at the fire service.”

It continued: “She was asked if she would like to come and meet Digby if she came back over the railings, which we are pleased to say she did.

“We wish the woman involved all the best in her recovery.”

The post has since received over 22,000 likes on Facebook and over 10,000 on Twitter too, with thousands praising the pooch’s efforts.

While, others commented on how dogs can help with people’s mental health.

People were also sharing photos of their pups who congratulated Digby.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police were called to a footbridge on the A379, near Exeter just before 11am today [15 June] following a report of concern for welfare for a woman.

“Officers, an ambulance and the fire service all attended and localised road closures were put in place.

“The woman was brought back to safety soon after 3pm and the road was reopened. She was taken into the care of mental health professionals.”

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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