Adorable Dog Becomes a Firehouse Mascot

Fire department saves and then adopts a beagle named Riggs.


Animals, Pet
Adorable Dog Becomes a Firehouse Mascot | Fire department saves and then adopts a beagle named Riggs.

A puppy, rescued by the East Haven fire department, has been adopted by the fire station. Named Riggs, this puppy greets everyone with affection, uplifting the firefighters after a hard day’s work. In his new fur-ever home, Riggs is busy being best friend, town celebrity, mascot, and therapy dog.  

The six-month-old beagle mix was rescued from inside a hot car that was parked at the Town Beach on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, according to the New York Post. The mayor of East Haven, Joseph Carfora, said the inside temperature of the locked car was 122 degrees Fahrenheit on that August day. Yet the puppy, taken to the East Haven Animal Control, was healthy after this ordeal.

A name that fits
Everyone fell in love with this puppy and wanted him, including the police department, the mayor, and the fire department. When it was finally decided that the fire department could keep him, the next important step was giving him an appropriate name. 

The entire town became involved in selecting a name, according to this Inside Edition video. Some 7,500 locals voted from a list of names and Riggs, a common word for a firetruck, was chosen. Riggs fit right in with the firefighters, paramedics, and fire chief Matthew Marcarelli. 

Marcarelli describes how seeing Riggs actually changes the personality of tired and stressed-out staff after a long day of work. He explains that station support dogs are becoming increasingly popular as they assist with the mental health and well-being of first responders. 

The importance of an emotional support dog
Marcarelli says in the video that “this is because of the cumulative effects of post-traumatic stress and job-related stress and its impact on first responders for their cardiovascular well-being and mental health.”

Lovable and friendly Riggs also offers distraction to the first responders. “We see a lot of tragedy and some folks try to internalize it. We have ways of dealing with it and he’s going to be one of these ways to help us,” Marcarelli told the New York Post.

Riggs can actually melt the toughest heart. Marcarelli told MSN, “You know you see a gruff, hard-nosed firefighter or paramedic, as they encounter the pup, they melt so it’s pretty cool.”

Everyone at the station house appreciates this small, furry companion. In this Fox 61  video, a firefighter said that having Riggs totally changes his mentality. He explains that even after the worst day, coming back and seeing this puppy at the top of the stairs makes the difficulties go away. 

Called the rescuers’ rescue, Riggs is loved by all and has a special place in fire chief Marcarelli’s heart. Riggs now has a loving home and, according to the New York Post, he even has his own fire hydrant behind the firehouse.

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