In April of 2014, Jake the dog was only 3 weeks old when his world was flipped upside down. At such a young age, Jake was rescued by a local firefighter, Bill Lindler, when Jake became trapped inside of a shed that had caught fire. Luckily, the puppy survived, but he suffered burns to 75 percent of his body.
It’s something that no animal should ever have to endure, and the healing process was going to be a difficult uphill battle. To make matters worse, the medical bills were piling up and the owners ended up abandoning him at the vet due to their inability to pay for it all. That was when something unexpected happened.
Bill Lindler, the firefighter who saved Jake, came to the puppy’s rescue again by adopting him when his owners couldn’t afford to pay for his care.
The recovery process wasn’t going to be easy, but with the love of the firefighters at the Hanahan Fire Department, Jake started to look better with each passing day.
“I noticed there was some smoke coming from my neighbor’s yard,” said Lindler when he was describing how he first met Jake.
“The residents were yelling their puppy was in the building.”
“I ran back into my house, grabbed some firefighting gear and ran across the street.”
“He was pretty scared and he wasn’t moving a whole lot. We think he was in the corner of the building for about 10 minutes before I got to him,” Lindler told BuzzFeed News.
Bill performed mouth-to-snout resuscitation on the puppy and managed to save his life.
The severe condition that the pup was in meant that he required 24-hour care for about six weeks before Bill could take him home to his new family. While Jake was recovering from his wounds, he became very popular among the other firefighters that were working at Bill’s station.
“I would just bring him here for shifts, and then the chief had the idea of making him a firefighter.”
It was like a match made in heaven. By December of that same year, Jake was sworn in as a firefighter to the city. He was also given the honor of being the Hanahan Fire Department’s official mascot. Today, Jake tours schools and public events with Bill to help educate kids about the importance of fire safety.
Also, Jake is in training to become a more specialized member of the fire department: an arson-detecting dog. Using his acute sense of smell, Jake will soon be able to detect accelerants and flammable liquids in the aftermath of a fire.
With a new lease on life, Jake is doing what he can to help protect and educate the community.