Firefighter Adopts Dog Found Lost at Mendocino Complex Fire

Sarah Le
By Sarah Le
August 30, 2018US News

A Utah firefighter stepped up to adopt a German Shepherd just weeks after he found the dog, dirty and matted, near a California wildfire.

“We didn’t go to California looking for a dog,” said Patrick Cullen.

Cullen was part of a small group from Utah that was sent to help fight the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in California history, which started on July 27.

As Cullen was working on running the pump at a fire engine in the middle of the night, he noticed the glint of a pair of eyes heading towards him. At first, he thought it might be a mountain lion.

Then he realized it was a very thirsty dog.

“There was a mud puddle there that he was pawing at for water, so, I gave him some water, a couple bottles of water, and he slept under the engine for the next few hours,” he said.

The 2-year-old dog was then transferred to a nearby shelter, where he was issued a clean bill of health.

Saving the dog was especially meaningful to Cullen and his team, since they lost one of their own in the fire. Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was killed by falling tree debris after a large air tanker finished dropping fire retardant. Three other firefighters were injured.

Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett from Utah was killed fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire in California. (Screenshot/Fox)

The 42-year-old firefighter from Utah left behind a wife and 7-year-old son.

After efforts were made to find the owners of the German Shepherd from California, no one showed up to claim him. Cullen then reunited with the pup in Reno and officially adopted the dog, who he is thinking of calling “Mendo.”

“It was so heartwarming and ‘Mendo’ recognized Patrick right away and there was no doubt that this was truly, truly meant to be,” said Chandra Brouillette, a Mendocino Animal Shelter volunteer.

The Mendocino Complex Fire has been burning for more than a month and has destroyed 157 homes and 123 other structures. It has spread to more than 410,000 acres and is now 93 percent contained.

From The Epoch Times

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