After Owner Dies in a Crash, Firefighters Go The Extra Distance to Help His Dog

When a vehicle is involved in an accident, it is always the human occupants that are the main priority. If any animals are involved in an accident, they are usually a secondary concern. However, the emergency services are generally extremely good at ensuring the welfare of any animals at the accident scene. On some occasions, the emergency services go above and beyond the call of duty to care for the animals involved in accidents, and this was the case when a dog was involved in an accident in which their owner was killed. I Heart Dogs reports that an accident took place the day before Thanksgiving in Plainville, Illinois. The emergency services were called to an incident involving a tractor-trailer that had rolled over.

As soon as the emergency services arrived at the scene, it was immediately obvious that the driver had died on impact. Therefore, it initially appeared that their role would involve the respectful removal of the driver’s body and a clean-up operation to remove the vehicle and remove any debris to make the road safe for other road users. Unexpectedly, Lieutenant Brandon Vainowski and Mike Walden, a firefighter and paramedic, heard a noise inside the tractor-trailer. They realized it was a bark and immediately began a search of the wreckage. Eventually, they emerged from the wreckage with a gray Schnauzer. The Animal Care Center of Plainfield was contacted by Fire Chief Jon Stratton, and they told him to take the dog into the center so that they could check her out.

When the dog was examined, they discovered that even before the crash had taken place, she had been hit by a car and then attacked by another dog. Her traumatic day then got worse when the trailer in which she was traveling rolled over. In an interview with the Plainfield Patch, Fire Chief Jon Stratton said that the dog had been through hell. He also told the staff at the center to do whatever was necessary to save the dog. Next, the authorities identified the driver killed in the accident. They also identified that the dog was called Sophie. The firefighters then reached out to the family of the deceased man to see if somebody was willing or able to care for his dog. Unfortunately, nobody was able to give the dog a home.

With nowhere for the dog to go, the firefighters needed to decide whether they should hand the dog over to a shelter or if they should take it upon themselves to help her find a new home. The kind-hearted firefighters decided they needed to see their rescue through to the end and to make sure that they found a new home for Sophie. Each day, the firefighters made a call to the Animal Care Center to check on Sophie’s progress. She was being cared for by veterinarian Dr. Josie Arkush, who had treated the dog’s injured leg by fitting an orthopedic boot. The firefighters tried to visit Sophie whenever they could. After she had been treated for her injured leg, Sophie was declared well enough for release. However, there was still the problem of where she would go over the Thanksgiving holiday. Stratton and the other firefighters were concerned that she would have to stay at the veterinarian center over Thanksgiving.

The firefighters need not have worried because Dr. Arkush had begun to develop a bond with the little gray Schnauzer. She had discussed the situation with her husband, and they decided between them that they would welcome Sophie into their home for the Thanksgiving period so that she would not have to stay at the center. Better still, they decided that Sophie could become a permanent part of their family. Sophie’s age is unknown, but Dr. Arkush believes that the dog is approximately seven or eight years old. Therefore, she has many years of life left in her left, and a lot of love to give. She has already settled into her new home. Dr. Arkush and her husband have two sons, Spencer and Theo. They also already have a dog at home called Trudy and a cat called Sister. Thankfully, Sophie is getting along with all the members of the family, human, canine, and feline.

On her Facebook page, Dr. Arkush posted an update about how Sophie is doing in her new home. She says that Sophie is getting along well with her boys and with the other pets in the household, and she shares the couch with the cat. According to Dr. Arkush, Sophie also loves going out on car rides, especially to the Starbucks drive-thru. Everyone at the firehouse is delighted that Sophie is now settled into a new home where she is well cared for and loved. The firefighters had even taken Sophie a box of her things that were found by her owner’s family when they cleared out Sophie’s former home. In the box, there were bones, toys, treats, and blankets, along with essentials such as parasite prevention treatment and her medical records. There was also a photo of Sophie being held by her deceased owner.

Dr. Arkush notes that Sophie’s deceased owner had cared for her well and loved her very much. It was clear that Sophie and her owner had a special bond. She also noted that Sophie’s lifestyle is very different now. Before, Sophie lived with just one man and no other animals, while she is now living in a lively and active family with children and other pets. Despite the big changes to her lifestyle, Sophie has adapted exceptionally well. Dr. Arkush is confident that Sophie can learn to love her new family and lifestyle just as much as she loved her dad. Sophie has a lot of years ahead of her to enjoy her new life and family and to feel loved once again.



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