Human Interest

A Rottweiler.

Dog Saves Michigan Family From House Fire

March 31, 2009 09:00 AM
by Sarah Amandolare
A dog in Michigan recently alerted its owners to smoke in the family home, helping them escape before the fire grew more serious.

Adopted Dog Warned Owners of Trouble

An adopted Rottweiler in Livonia, Mich., recently alerted a family to a house fire early in the morning, according to the Livonia Oberver.

Boomer, who is 2 years old, nudged his sleeping owner until he woke and found smoke in the living room. Another dog "was right behind Boomer" at the time.

"I thought they had to go to the bathroom real bad," John Bates, told the Observer. Bates, his girlfriend and her two daughters were able to leave the house safely.

Boomer "saved their lives," the fire marshall stated.

Meanwhile, in New York, Ace, a pit bull-German shephard mix, barked enough to wake residents of a Brooklyn brownstone and help them notice a fire. Nearly three dozen people escaped that situation, according to an article on

Background: Buddy to the Rescue

Boomer and Ace join a list of pets who have come to their owners' rescue.

Last year in Phoenix, Buddy the German shepherd dialed 911 when his owner, Joe Stalnaker, had a seizure. Emergency personnel responded, ultimately saving the owner’s life. According to the Associated Press, Stalnaker’s address is “flagged in Scottsdale’s system” to notify dispatchers of his “trained assistance dog.”

Buddy learned his skills at Paws with a Cause, a Michigan-based organization that trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. At just 18 months of age, Buddy was capable of dialing programmed buttons until an operator got on the line.

A similar situation occurred in Orlando in 2006 when Belle, a 17-pound beagle, called 911 when her diabetic owner, Kevin Weaver, collapsed from a seizure. Belle had been trained “to bite down on the number 9 on his cell phone” when Weaver was in distress. The pup had also learned to sniff out abnormalities in blood-sugar levels, and alert her owner with pawing and whining, according to MSNBC.
Ten years prior, another animal used a telephone in an emergency situation. In Tampa, a cat named Tipper dialed 911 when his flea collar became lodged in his mouth. Tipper’s owner speculated that the cat had accidentally pounced on the 911 speed-dial button while flailing about, however, attempting to dislodge the collar.

Related Topic: Emergency line abuse


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