Woman takes photo of crews performing CPR on dog after house fire

Posted at 7:12 PM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 23:12:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids firefighters helped save the life of a small dog injured during a house fire on Tuesday.

One witness captured a photo of the first responders resuscitating the dog, who was unconscious. That photo has been passing around social media, tugging on the heart strings of animal lovers across the country.

It turns out that each fire engine in Kent County has animal oxygen delivery devices that were donated about five years ago.

One of those devices came into play on Tuesday, helping to revive the small dog suffering from smoke inhalation.

Jordan Roberts said that she was outside with her kids when she saw the fire trucks drive past. So, she took a walk down the street where she captured the image of house fire on the 1100 block of Sigsbee in Grand Rapids.

"It looked like they were working on someone, actually at first I thought it was a kid. I was like kind of, maybe we should go, and then I heard someone say, 'Oh it's a dog'", said Roberts.

Battalion Chief Bart Perry said that crews arrived about a minute after the call came in, reporting a fire on the second floor of the home.

Perry said that about 10 feet from the front door, crews found the small pup.

"The dog was unconscious, breathing about four times a minute which is not sufficient for human or animals," said Perry.

Roberts stood by as firefighters focused their efforts on saving the dog's life.

"I was like, oh my goodness like this is good to know that if anything ever happened you know to our dog, who is obviously a member of our family, that they would you know show that kind of compassion to our dog," said Roberts.

Using a small oxygen delivery device specially made for animals, their efforts paid off.

"The dog was brought back to life through vigorous stimulation and oxygen delivery. After about 20 minutes, the dog was up and running around and appeared to be fine," said Perry.

Capturing an image, showing crews help bring the pup back to life is something Roberts said she was honored to do.

"I was able to shed some light on just what they do on a day-to-day basis. My brother is a police officer, and so you know I would do the same thing, taken the opportunity to see what he does on a day-to-day basis," said Roberts.

Chief Perry said that every emergency response is a team effort, and they too know what it's like to have a soft spot for the family pet.

"We are all father, you know we all have children, we all have pets and we recognize that the citizens we serve, many times their pets are their children or their family members," said Perry.

The fire department said that it uses the special animal oxygen masks about 50 times a year.

Also because of their efforts, the house was not a complete loss.