🐶 Abandoned beach pup becomes hometown hero

PLUS: Our California rescue spotlight and top training tip

👋 Happy Thursday! Today, we’ve got some extra-heartwarming stories from the world of pet rescues.

In today’s Cause for Paws:

  • 🧑‍🚒 Beagle gets adopted by firefighters and becomes local hero

  • 🧠 A great technique to teach your pup the “leave it!” command

  • 🇺🇲 Our 50 State Rescue Challenge: California Edition

  • 🐾 Paw Profiles – 3 big-hearted rescues ready for adoption

Source: East Haven Fire Department

For most pups, a trip to the beach is something to look forward to. But for one abandoned pup, it quickly turned into a nightmare.

Little Riggs, just 6 months old, was left locked inside a sweltering car at a public beach in East Haven, Connecticut.

As temperatures soared to 122 degrees inside the vehicle, the poor beagle mix was trapped with no way out.

Thankfully, local authorities were alerted to the dangerous situation. Police and animal control searched frantically for the missing owner, as firefighters raced to the scene.

With no owner coming forward and the heat intensifying, they knew they had to act fast.

The fire crew carefully opened the car and pulled Riggs to safety. Despite his traumatic experience, he was found in remarkably good health.

Riggs was taken to the East Haven Animal Shelter, where many families expressed interest in adopting this sweet survivor.

But a fierce debate erupted in town over who would ultimately care for Riggs. The police department argued they could provide a stable home. Even the Mayor, Joseph Carfora, pleaded to adopt the pup.

In the end, the firefighters came out on top. They felt an instant bond with Riggs, and wanted to make him part of their team permanently.

As Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli explained, "We took an immediate liking to him and decided he’d be a good fit for us." And so, Riggs officially joined the East Haven Fire Department as their Station Support Dog.

The firefighters suggested fitting names like Cinder and Ash, but ended up letting the community decide his name.

In a vote with over 700 participants, Riggs emerged as the clear winner - both a common name for a fire truck and a nod to Riggs' strength and resilience.

“He is an official ambassador for the department and the residents. Riggs is an Eastie now," Mayor Carfora said.

Riggs has already acclimated seamlessly to station life. He brings comfort and joy to firefighters facing trauma daily. As the Chief shared, "We see a lot of tragedy...he’s going to be one of those ways to help us."

This heartwarming adoption story reminds us not to judge a dog by their circumstances. Despite being abandoned, Riggs’ friendly and loyal spirit shone through.

Given patience and care, he flourished in his new home. His journey inspires us to give deserving animals a chance, just as the East Haven firefighters did.

The firefighters recognized Riggs’ potential and now he is thriving. Their compassion changed one puppy’s life for the better - proof that our actions can make all the difference.

The best way to instill good behavior in your dog?

Teach them as early as possible!

This week, we’re showing you a simple but effective way to train your pup the “leave it” command.

Hint: it’s all about rewarding them at the right times! 😉

🇺🇲 The 50 State Rescue Challenge: California Edition

At Cause for Paws, we’re on a mission:

Get a pet adopted in every state.

Every week, we cover a different state, and share resources on how you can help adopt in your own state.

This week, we’re focusing on the Golden State — California! 🌴

One rescue really caught our eye this week: the Santa Barbara Humane, down in sunny southern California.

They’re one of the first animal welfare agencies in the country, serving local communities since 1887!

After 136 years of being a safe-haven for animals, they’ve built an incredible team, providing:

  • Low-cost veterinary care

  • Vaccines

  • Spay/neuter

  • Affordable and humane dog training classes

  • Pet adoption

  • And animal rehoming!

So far in 2023, they’ve helped families adopt 487 dogs and 614 cats—that’s a whole lotta love!

If you or someone you know lives near Santa Barbara County, you’ll definitely want to pay these guys a visit.

P.S. Not a California resident? No worries!

🐾 Paw Profiles: 3 amazing dogs needing new homes

Santa Barbara Humane has tons of furry friends ready to go home with you.

Today, we’re showcasing 3 irresistible dogs in search of lifelong companions.

Could you be their perfect match?

Golden-hearted Charlotte, an easy-going Golden Retriever/Husky blend, adores kiddos and other dogs, and is ready to strut by your side! 🐾🌼

Meet Canelo: a bouncy, 4-year-old Labradoodle with a playful heart, awaiting adventures and cuddles! (This smart boy knows commands in English AND German!) 🐾🇩🇪

Our gentle-giant Rottweiler, Creed, is a goofy, playful boy, who loves hot dogs and having fun. He has a huge heart and can’t wait to share it with a new home! 🐾🌭

If you think one of these sweet pups could be a perfect match, then make sure to check out the Santa Barbara Humane today.

👋 That’s all for now, Cause for Paws crew! See you next week!

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