A Sacramento firefighter picked up Chunk, a 3-month-old puppy, from the Front Street Animal Shelter with his family Thursday for foster care after she was rescued from the rain Sunday.
Firefighter Mike Thawley found Chunk nearly hairless, tied up and stranded in the rain near 12th and North B streets. Her front legs were swollen and she was shivering, he said.
“You got to help the puppies out when you can, especially the pitbulls,” Thawley said. “They are definitely a discriminated against breed,” said the Marin County resident and pitbull owner of 17 years.
Thawley and the Sacramento Fire Engine 14 crew were on a fire call when they drove by Chunk, doubling back after their job to rescue her.
Fire engine driver Peter Vandersluis said the crew cared for her before bringing her to the shelter.
“We checked her out, cut the cord that she was tied up to. We wrapped her up in a blanket, threw her in the fire engine and took her back to the fire house … gave her a little bath.”
As for the name, Thawley said he and the fire crew always joked about having a fire station dog named Chunk.
“We will take this one in for a little while and try to find her a home,” Thawley said.
Thawley’s wife, Carla, said that, despite her three teenagers falling in love with Chunk, the family has not made a firm decision on whether or not they will take in the puppy after foster care.
“We have a busy home with three girls and two dogs,” Carla said, adding that her husband has a big heart. “He has a big soft spot (for animals).”
She added that he may “get a free dog out of it.”
Bobby Mann, spokesman for the shelter, said Chunk is on antibiotics and will require continuous care until she is healed, provided free by the shelter until she is fit to be in a permanent home.
About 11,000 stray, sick or injured animals are dropped off at the shelter every year, Mann said. The shelter is able to give free care for Chunk and other animals because of public donations.
Chunk was found with a noncontagious form of mange, caused by tiny mites in the skin.
“We all kind of just fell in love with her,” Vandersluis said.