Dempsey the Boxer Survives Nine Freezing Days Outside in Maine Only to Be Hit by a Car

He went 10 rounds in subzero woods and then got knocked flat by a car, but this fighter survived.


Dempsey the Boxer was named after the boxer Jack Dempsey, so you have to assume that this little guy is not going to go down without a fight.

And last week, he was in the fight of his life: nine days alone in subzero temperatures, and then he gets hit by a car.

It started a couple of weeks ago, when Dempsey and his owner Jamie Cyrway visited her parents’ house in Maine — a very cold Maine. Dempsey, for reasons known only to Dempsey, jumped a six-foot fence in the backyard and aced into the woods. Those woods were freezing. Dempsey was an out-of-town Boxer, unused to such conditions. It didn’t look good. The family immediately started searching, offering a reward, putting up signs around the neighborhood and on Facebook.

“We went out on snow shoes,” Janet Boothby, Cyrway’s mother, told CBS News. “We went out at night. We took my dog on trails. Jamie and I went through the woods. We had scent stations set up.”

They did everything they could, in short. But still no Dempsey. Eventually, Cyrway, who is a single parent with three kids, had to get back to Maryland for work. She left with her kids, but her family continued the search.

The days continued to pass, but they didn’t give up hope.

“Jamie and I never gave up on him,” Boothby told “We said, ‘Until we have proof Dempsey is gone by being dead or something, we’re not going to give up. Because if we give up, he will die and we weren’t going to do that.”

Then, nine days later, a break in the case. A man told others he hit a dog near a farm in the area where Dempsey vanished. Christine Pierce, who heard about Dempsey on Facebook but didn’t know the dog, thought she’d go check it out.

She found tracks in the snow, which led into a shed. She followed them and found Dempsey, who looked “horrible” and “skinny.”

“He wasn’t moving, and when I saw him, I said, ‘Dempsey, I found you. I can’t believe I found you,'” Pierce said. “He kind of opened his eyes a little bit and then I knew he was alive. I scooped him up and put him in the back of my vehicle and called his owner Jamie and said, ‘I found your dog.'”

Pierce took him straight to Madison Animal Hospital. Dempsey had a broken leg, he had lost weight, his heart rate had dropped, and he was having seizures, but he was alive.

According to Dr. Darren Richards, Pierce found Dempsey in the nick of time.

“It’s really a miracle. Nine days in the subzero temperatures that we had, and he’s not a very big dog, so he’s lucky,” Richards said. “I think when she found him, he was probably within an hour or two of dying.”

Dempsey is recovering from surgery to fix his leg, and he’s been reuinted with Cyrway. Her mother praised the community for helping them find the dog.

“We had so many people looking, so many people helping us look. So many people putting food out. People are good people,” Boothby said. “At church, our opening prayer was for Dempsey on Sunday morning, so Dempsey touched the hearts of many, many lives.”

Via CBS News

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