Foster Dog Saves Sleeping Family Of 5 From Houseboat Fire

August 23, 2023

A family in Virginia is calling their foster dog a hero for saving them from a fire that destroyed their houseboat.

moose the hero dog
Moose | The boat fire

The Portsmouth Humane Society allows people to "check out" an adoptable dog and take the dog to local events as part of their "Paws Around Portsmouth" program.

About two weeks ago, Chris Cushna and Sheila Janes checked out a Great Pyrenees named Moose. The family of five took Moose to the market, advertising that the pup needed a home. Cushna said they met a potential owner, but she couldn't adopt Moose that day.

So, the family brought Moose to their houseboat at the Tidewater Yacht Marina and then went to sleep.

hero dog
Moose / Credit: Shiela Janes 

As the family slept, the boat next to theirs caught fire. Moose woke the family up and alerted them to smoke pouring in from the neighboring boat.

"Those were critical minutes," Janes told Newsweek. "It happened so quickly and, at that point, every second counts."

The family was able to get out safely, but their home was destroyed and they lost everything.

Moose finds his forever home

Moose was returned to the shelter.

About a week later, he was rescued by a Portsmouth family who was following his story on the local news.

hero dog
Moose and Ciara Lucas / Credit: WTKR News 3

"We saw that he had been returned, and I was talking to my husband," Ciara Lucas said. "I told him Moose got returned and he was like 'well, go get him'."

So, Lucas brought him home, which had quite a few animals already, including dogs, cats, chicken, goats and even a tortoise.

"He's here to stay," Lucas said.

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