A family is grateful to be back with their pet after a fire almost tore their lives apart.
On Sunday, Oregon firefighters continued battling blazes caused by the Golden Fire in Klamath County. The fire began on Saturday and is responsible for destroying approximately 43 homes and 42 outbuildings, according to initial reports published by Central Oregon Daily News.
Over 2,000 acres have burned, and hundreds of Klamath County residents have been evacuated.
Amid the mayhem comes a beautiful story. Firefighters from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District reunited a lost pooch with its loved ones.
“We sent [an] engine to Bly along with the Central Oregon Task Force. While they were working, Fire/Medic David Ward found Ladybird wandering around, apparently lost,” a Facebook announcement from the agency began.
“They clearly became fast friends! Our crew took care of her, while doing their work, until she could be reunited with her family. Thankfully she had a phone number on her collar that helped to make contact.”
The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District shared several images of Ladybird, including one with the rescued canine kissing Ward. In the other photos, Ladybird appears happy and healthy as she jumps on firefighters and receives pets.
“Low fuel moisture, 90-degree temperatures, and wind gusts up to 20 mph contributed to extreme fire behavior,” the Golden Fire Facebook official page stated yesterday about the Golden Fire.
“Our hearts go out to the Bonanza community and those affected by the Golden Fire,” Matt Howard, ODF Team 2 Incident Commander, said. “We grieve with the community and your loss. Our goal on this fire has been, and will continue to be, to contain this fire to minimize its impact. Our job now is to fully suppress this fire so the recovery process can begin. That is our commitment to you.”
Ladybird’s happy ending is similar to another pup who was recently rescued. Matt was taken in by the South Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Lubbock, Texas, this month. The canine was given his name after he was discovered with his fur badly matted to his body. Tori Houston, a foster and volunteer with the South Plains SPCA, spoke exclusively to PEOPLE about how she met Matt.
“When I first got the call, these people had found this dog behind their house in a cornfield, and I got a call by my president [Kim Moyers] to go pick this dog up,” Houston began. “And when I arrived, the condition of this dog was probably the worst I had ever seen any dog, ever; he had so much hair you didn’t know which was the front, which was the back. He was covered in goat heads. He stunk so bad. You couldn’t see any part of his body. He looked like a pile of sheep wool.”
South Plains SPCA president Kim Moyers told KLBK-TV, “His hair growth was about five years of matting. It’s just awful that he was probably seen in different places and overlooked. I don’t see how he hasn’t been seen roaming in the condition he was. I’ve never seen anything like him. It was shocking.”
Thankfully, three pounds of fur was removed from Matt’s tiny body. “After we had one of our professional groomers — who’s also an SPCA foster — groom him, he looked amazing. He is the most gorgeous-looking dog I’ve ever seen. He’s just drop-dead gorgeous,” Houston confirmed, adding that Matt is now recovering and preparing to find a loving place to call home.