Two Fire Departments in Florida recently adopted two dogs to be their official Firehouse dogs. This is not unusual since many fire stations have dogs.
What is unusual is that Clover and Ruby are fire survivors. They both sustained serious injuries at young ages.
Clover was just a puppy, only a few weeks old, when the shed she and her mother and siblings were living in caught fire. The others all escaped but Clover was trapped in the burning building when a board fell on her.
She suffered severe burns. She was later adopted by Suncoast Animal League located in Palm Harbor, Florida. They started posting about her healing process and she won many friends. One set of fans was the Florida’s Madeira Beach Fire Department (MBFD), who had already been planning to get a firehouse dog.
The moment they met Clover they knew she was the one. They adopted her and her life as a firefighter’s friend and burn victim ambassador started.
When Ruby was a few months old there was a fire at her Georgia home. Ruby escaped the flames, but her owner did not. The pit bull mix suffered third degree burns from her run through the flames.
Meanwhile, the Florida’s Palm Harbor Fire Rescue (PHFR), had heard about Clover being adopted by the MBFD. Not to be outdone, they decided they wanted their own firehouse dog. Ruby turned out to be just the dog they needed.
Ruby and Clover at Work
Despite their health challenges, Ruby and Clover don’t lie around the firehouse taking it easy. They help with fire safety presentations at local schools. They also go with the firefighters to help encourage other burn victims and let them know they’re not alone. They attend camps for young burn survivors.
But when they are around the firehouse, they help stressed out firefighters by offering unconditional love and friendship. No matter what happens during the day the dogs are always positive and help lift the spirits of their co-workers.
Firefighter-paramedic John Sleppy says, “In our line of work, we see things and do things that a lot of people don’t see in their entire lives, and sometimes that can affect you,” Sleppy told FOX 13. “It’s nice to come back to the station, where it’s more like a home now where your dog’s always got a smile and wants to lick you.”