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MARCO ISLAND

Things are returning to normal for Turbo and his family.

His “mother” Cindy Burnett is back working at the Little Caesar’s on Marco Island, which she and her husband Andy own. His “brothers,” Stephen, 19, and Jordan, 17, are being sure to tell their friends to shut the gate when they come over. And Turbo’s actual sister — littermate, in fact — Porsche, also an 11-year-old Doberman, is relieved to have her buddy back.

No one is more relieved than Cindy, though.

“We thought he was gone,” she said. “I was out till 2 a.m. Monday morning looking for him.”

Turbo was found, after being missing for more than 15 hours, in a canal several streets away from the family home on Dogwood Drive. Burnett and the unnamed woman who saw him in the canal and called 911 credit dolphins in the canal with Turbo’s rescue.

“She heard a big commotion from the dolphins in the canal, and went out to see why they were so excited,” said Burnett. “That’s when she saw Turbo.”

She believes the Doberman spent the entire night in the canal, after going through an unlocked gate around 8 the previous evening. Burnett said her neighbor, after placing the 911 call, climbed down into the canal herself to help get Turbo out.

“She actually got into the water to help him. She said he seemed very friendly, and very exhausted,” said Burnett.

Alerted by the Marco Island Police Department, Burnett arrived minutes later, to find her dog scratched up, dehydrated and shivering uncontrollably.

“It’s a miracle — it was meant to be,” said Burnett.
Cindy Burnett is thankful to have her Doberman, ‘Turbo,’ back after some Marco Island residents helped pull the dog out of a canal which she and they believe he spent several hours without drowning thanks to the assistance of some friendly dolphins.

Cindy Burnett is thankful to have her Doberman, “Turbo,” back after some Marco Island residents helped pull the dog out of a canal which she and they believe he spent several hours without drowning thanks to the assistance of some friendly dolphins.

She said Turbo found a shallow spot where, with the tide out, he was able to stand in two and a half feet of water, so he didn’t have to swim for the entire ordeal. Apart from cuts on his feet, scratches on his legs, once he was warmed up, said Burnett, he was fine.

“I worked as a veterinary assistant when I was in college, so I’d seen things like this,” said Burnett. “I gave him some unflavored Pedialyte, and kept an eye on him.”

She added that Turbo, along with his sister, get regular food treats from the family’s pizza business, and the “pupperoni” also helped him feel better.

Burnett was full of praise for the response of the law enforcement agencies that helped get her dog back.

“I hoped someone would find him. I called the Humane Society to report him missing, but because it was a holiday, I got a recording.”

As instructed, she called the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, where “this awesome rep listened to my story,” Burnett said. Within 30 minutes, she received a call that Turbo had been found.

“Officer Williams was so good,” she said of the police officer dispatched to the scene.

Marco Island Police Captain Dave Baer said that Sgt. George Williams, one of the department’s shift supervisors, has a soft spot in his heart for canines, as the owner of several dogs himself.

“I’m not surprised he was helpful. We’re happy we were able to help reunite them with their dog,” said Baer, but added that as there was no crime committed, no police report was filed.

Burnett said she went back to the home where the rescuers were to thank them several times, but no one was at home. The dolphins, though, have been spotted cruising up and down the canal.

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