A dog who was badly hurt in a house blaze has been adopted by a firefighter and is starting a new life supporting young burn victims.
Lexi Ann suffered such severe burns in a house fire in Minnesota in January that her owners took her to a vet to be put down.
According to animal shelter Ruff Start Rescue, she only made it out of the fire – which killed a number of other pets including a litter of Lexi’s puppies – because the plastic kennel she was in “literally melted around and onto her, allowing her to escape”.
A vet tech reached out to Ruff Start for help, and the shelter found a foster home for the dog to live in as she healed.
Lexi’s foster parents kept up an Instagram page showing her progress, an account that caught the eye of Travis Oliver, a firefighter from Indiana.
Travis said he knew he wanted to adopt Lexi straight away.
He said: “I’m sitting at work and I almost cry seeing her story, because I’ve pulled dogs out that didn’t make it, and I’m like, ‘You’re my new best friend because I know what you’re going through has to be hell’.”
It was an unusual situation for the shelter, which normally only sanctions adoptions within the state of Minnesota.
But because of the apparent connection between firefighter and burn victim, they decided to make an exception.
The shelter said: “Traditionally Ruff Start does not do out-of-state adoptions, but after long communication between the rescue, the fosters, and the adopters, it was clear this was a perfect match.”
Lexi has now moved to Indiana with Travis and his family – including another dog named Odin – and she will now be helping other victims of fires on their journeys back to health.
Ruff Start said: “Her dad will even be bringing Lexi to a camp in Indiana that helps burn victims to help the kids with their own healing.”