In 2016 A Firefighter Took An Mistreated Puppy To A Shelter But Ended Up Adopting Her Himself

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

When Chunk the dog ended up at a shelter, she didn’t appear to be happy. After all, although her life on the streets had ended, her future was still uncertain, and she had no home to call her own. When Mike Thawley – the man who’d saved her – showed up, though, the little pup seemingly couldn’t hide her joy.

Image: Hermes Rivera

Thawley is a firefighter with the Sacramento Fire Department in California. As such, it is his job to try to help people in all manner of emergency incidents – a heroic endeavor in and of itself. However, in 2016 Thawley became somewhat of a hero for yet another reason.

Image: Timothy Eberly

It all began when the firefighter was attending an incident with his crew. As they drove to the scene, though, something troubling caught Thawley’s eye. By the side of the road was a tied-up dog, and the canine in question didn’t look like she was in a good way at all.

Image: skeeze

But given that lives may have been in threat, Thawley and his crew had little choice but to continue to the emergency they were attending. They didn’t forget about the poor mutt, though, and returned to her aid once they had completed their job.

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

Unfortunately, however, when Thawley and the other firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the little dog shivering in an icy downpour. To make matters worse, she had practically no hair to keep her warm or dry, and the poor animal was also covered in painful scabs.

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Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

And, understandably, the firefighters couldn’t find it in their hearts to leave the dog alone. As a result, then, they released her from the tree she was tied to, scooped her up and took her to their fire station. Once there, they also gave her a bath before arranging her onward journey.

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

In particular, the firefighters decided that they would take the dog – later named Chunk – to Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter. The government-run facility takes in the city’s stray cats and dogs and strives to have as many animals adopted as possible; going there, then, was perhaps Chunk’s best chance at a fresh start.

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Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

However, after dropping the dog off at the shelter, Thawley simply couldn’t get Chunk out of his mind. He decided, therefore, that he would go and see the pup the very next day. That way, she would get to see a familiar face and perhaps realize that someone was indeed looking out for her.

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

And, happily, Thawley and Chunk’s moving reunion was captured on camera. In the resulting footage, Chunk saunters slowly out of her cage, stopping when she meets Thawley’s feet. At first, she appears slightly sheepish; when the firefighter indulges her with a scratch behind her ears, though, she soon warms up.

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Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

Eventually, it even seems that Chunk remembers Thawley and the part he played in rescuing her from the streets. Her tail begins to wag enthusiastically, and she jumps up onto the firefighter’s lap – as if to get even closer to her hero.

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

Then, later on in the video, Chunk and Thawley are seen enjoying yet more time together. The firefighter holds the dog – now dressed in a purple sweater – in his arms as she attempts to coat his face in sloppy kisses. He doesn’t seem to mind the dog’s advances, however, and he even returns the favor by planting a peck on the pooch’s head.

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Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

Indeed, the bond between the pair was clear to see. And that connection had not been lost on Thawley himself, either. So he discussed things with his wife, Carla, and their trio of daughters; and they all ultimately agreed that they should look after Chunk while she recovered from a skin condition.

Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

But taking care of Chunk would be no walk in the park. It had since been determined that the dog’s lesions had been caused by a type of mange; the Thawley family would be responsible for her, then, while she received the proper treatment for her condition.

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Image: Facebook/Sacramento Fire Department

However, the clan’s task was made easier by the fact they were already completely smitten with Chunk. “We all just kind of fell in love with her,” Thawley told The Sacramento Bee in 2017. And it appeared that the feeling was totally mutual.

Image: Facebook/Sacramento Fire Department

In fact, Chunk and her new family got on so well that the Thawleys decided to officially adopt her. Now, then, the pooch would never have to worry about being alone again, as she had five new humans who would all dote on her.

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Image: Facebook/Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento

And with their love, Chunk soon transformed. Before long, her crusty, mangy skin had completely settled, allowing her shiny grey coat to thrive. What’s more, not only did the canine’s fur change, but she also appeared to look happier – and for that, she had Thawley to thank.

Image: Facebook/Pibble Life

Unsurprisingly, Chunk’s story tugged at heartstrings when Front Street Animal Shelter posted a video about her and Thawley to its Facebook page. Since going live in 2016, the moving footage has attracted 106,000 views and more than 5,000 reactions.

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Image: Facebook/Carla Thawley

And after following Chunk’s story, many viewers felt compelled to leave a comment below the video. In particular, a number of individuals praised Thawley and his family for allowing the little dog into their hearts as well as their home.

Image: Facebook/Carla Thawley

Applauding Thawley, Susan Hubbard-Hansen said, for instance, “What a wonderful and uplifting story! [I’ve got] tears in my eyes seeing this video and all the kindness, compassion and love. Thank you for making me believe in heroes again.”

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Image: Facebook/Carla Thawley

Meanwhile, Andrea Citsay wrote, “[I] wish there were more people like [Thawley]. Most probably walked by that poor puppy, scared and alone, and never gave her a second glance.” She added, “He’s a true hero” – and we are rather inclined to agree.

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