Fire Crew Finds Homeless Puppy at Burning Debris Pile, Now He’s Being Fostered by a Firefighter

When firefighters in Sacramento, California, showed up to a blaze last week, they walked away from the scene with one more in their crew than they arrived with.

A fire had broken out Tuesday under the eastbound Interstate 80 bridge. It was fueled by debris from the homeless people who gather there.

As firefighters were battling the blaze, they noticed a small puppy with pieces of burnt plastic stuck to his dirty body.

The dog had no tags and didn’t seem to be owned by anyone, and the crew knew they couldn’t just leave him there. The captain who was on the scene immediately knew who to call.


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Firefighter Mike Thawley is something of a dog person, becoming internet famous a few years ago for fostering a mangey abandoned pit bull who’d been left chained to a fence and was rescued by the fire department. That dog, named Chunk, became a foster fail — Thawley adopted her permanently and gained quite the following.

When the captain asked if he’d be interested in another foster, he couldn’t pass up the little fellow.

“He said, ‘Do you want him?’ And I said yes,” Thawley said of the short exchange and quick decision, according to KOVR-TV.

“He had a lot more plastic, burned plastic, on the top of his fur area on his back, top of his head,” Thawley said. “He’s still got a little bit down below, a little burn on the back hind leg.

“Perked up pretty good after we gave him some water, some food, gave him a bath, started picking off some of the plastic and then yesterday kinda personality started coming out: Following us around, tail wagging.”


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The pup will be offered for adoption through the city’s Front Street Animal Shelter while Thawley continues to care for him — if he doesn’t foster fail again, that is.

“While responding to a fire underneath eastbound I-80 just west of Norwood Avenue, Sacramento firefighters found a small puppy,” the Sacramento Fire Department’s Facebook post said.

“The puppy didn’t have a name tag. So, animal control will be taking the puppy to Front Street Animal Shelter — City of Sacramento.

“In the meantime, we need your help to try to figure out a name for this puppy.”

Many people have suggested the name “Lucky.”

The dog has received a lot of media attention for his story, and many have hinted that he would make a great fire station dog.

Speaking About News

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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