Titus is one lucky pup! Not only did the guys from the City of Newburgh Fire Department in New York save his life, but now they’re providing him with an even better one.
The crew was recently called in to fight a fire in downtown Newburgh that had enveloped a three-story brick building with a barber shop on the first floor and apartments above. Newburgh Fire Department Lt. Timothy Dexter tells PEOPLE they found the blaze on the second floor, in a bedroom, with fire venting out the rear window and smoke throughout the building. As the team worked to contain the fire, they heard reports that there were two puppies missing from the apartment.
“One puppy was found by firefighter Chris Baum and was handed over to me,” said Lt. Dexter. “I brought the puppy out and began CPR. Unfortunately our efforts were unsuccessful. We went back in and searched everywhere in that apartment … we didn’t believe anything could be alive in that room.”
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Luckily, Lt. Anthony Muhammad has good ears. As the guys were about to leave, the fireman said, “Quiet, do you guys hear that?” Sure enough, the first puppy had a brother, and he was still alive.
“We heard the wines of a little puppy,” said Dexter. “We went into the room and Lt. Muhammad flipped the bed over, and there was little Titus. He picked Titus up and handed him off to me. I brought him outside and began treating him with oxygen and trying to take care of his burns, assisted by firefighter Jimmy Moore.”
The pup, a 6- to 8-week-old pit bull, was also treated at a veterinary hospital. He has burns all over his body and is currently on four different medications, as well as a topical cream to treat his third-degree burns. Dexter says that despite his injuries, “he’s a spry little pup and loves to play.”
According to News 12 Hudson Valley, the pup’s original owners didn’t want to keep him. Dexter tells PEOPLE the conditions of the apartment were pretty poor and he suspects it might’ve been a puppy mill situation. Luckily, one of the firefighters, Jimmy Moore, was interested in adopting the pup himself.
“Early that day Moore was saying to me that we was thinking about getting a new puppy so his dog, which is the brother to my dog, would have a friend to play with when he was away,” said Dexter. “Although it was a little sooner than he expected, we knew it was meant to be. Jimmy was a little concerned about how much the vet bills would cost, [so] I told him I would co-own the dog with him and help him out financially, but he would have primary care of the dog … I think Titus will have a much better life.”
Well, what could be better than having two handsome, heroic firefighter dads?
The guys named the pup “Titus,” after the Greek word “Titos” meaning fire, or to burn — and, yes, our hearts are melting.
“At the firehouse, we also have a pit bull mascot named Nick that we adopted about a year ago after finding him tied to a fire hydrant
malnourished and abandoned,” says Dexter. “He has become quite the local celebrity and has made appearances at fundraising events for different animal-related charities. He met Titus just yesterday and got along with him very well.”