The Haines City Fire Department in Florida has its own very special fire dog – and it’s not a Dalmatian.
Fire Chief Bill Jolley received a call last January about a muzzled American Staffordshire Terrier tied to a tree in a field without food or water, according to TheLedger.com. He and Capt. Codi Donahoe drove to Haines City’s downtown area and found the starving dog.
“We weren’t going to leave her there, so we untied her and we walked over to the truck,” Jolley told ABC Action News last week. “And when we got to the truck, she just jumped right up into the back.”
They brought the 2-year-old pup to the firehouse, where the firefighters on duty mutually decided to keep her, and to name her Ember.
Once neglected and abandoned, Ember now has several dog dads who are more than happy to spoil her. According to ABC Action News, firefighter Brett Dipiero is her favorite. “She gets all the food she wants, all the treats she wants,” he said. “If she could tell you herself, I’m sure she’d tell you she’s in heaven.”
The food and treats are paid for by contributions from the firefighters and their families. As for Ember’s health care, a local veterinarian is giving the firefighters a generous discount.
Ember is especially fortunate that the firefighters adopted her, because the local shelter, Polk County Animal Control, euthanizes Pit Bull-type dogs as well as any dog more than 50 pounds, according to the Dolly’s Foundation Facebook page. Dolly’s Foundation is a Florida-based nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates bully-breed dogs.
The lucky dog spends her days lounging in the sun near the fire station’s front door while her dog dads are out on a call. When they return, her favorite game is playing tug-of-war with a fire hose.
The firefighters plan to ride with Ember on an antique fire truck in parades and show off the pooch, who Jolley described as being very calm and friendly.
Depiero told ABC Action News, “Having her around just makes that time go by a little faster and keeps everyone a little more cheerful. So it’s great help and a great improvement to the fire station.”
PHOTO: Bill Jolley (used with permission of Rachel Jolley)