Clementine the Catahoula Hound Mix has the whole story. First found as a stray in the South, this three-year-old pup went from being twice returned to a rescue to being a hero bloodhound at Cedar Hill Fire Department Station #212 in Texas.
Now, Clementine is a hero’s unto heroes, and she’s won the ASPCA Dog of the Year award!
Clementine was first taken in when she was found missing in southern Louisiana. But because this was in 2021, and it happened as Hurricane Aida was headed for the Gulf Coast, she didn’t stay there long. Three months after arriving, sweet Clementine was evacuated ahead of the storm and headed to the Tri-City Animal Shelter in Texas.
On two occasions, Clementine was taken home by a family, only to be returned to the shelter after ten days. Clementine’s high energy and active prey drive was no match for any of her first families. While every dog is different, certain breeds are more likely to be couch potatoes, while others can’t resist the urge to chase small animals.
But then, after two failures, this sweet little pup struck gold and found the family of her dreams.
“One day, after answering a call that I wasn’t far from the Tri-City Animal Shelter, I decided to stop by to see what dogs they had available,” explained Capt. Robert Moree. “I knew we wanted to rescue to help raise awareness for local shelter adoption. I explained that we wanted a dog that was having a harder time laying down, preferably one that was older and would easily adjust to the firehouse without needing the attention and training that a puppy would need.”
Clementine helps her new family relax and recover from what is often very stressful. shifts. He lives at the station full time and even has his own outdoor playground. His presence immediately impacted the entire fire station in a very positive way.
“As firefighters, we are often thought of as ‘macho’, but the things we experience leave a lasting impact on us and sometimes it can be difficult to share our emotions after responding to some difficult situations. Not only does Clementine make the station feel more like home during our 24-hour shifts, she also provides a constant, positive morale boost and keeps us excited to come to the station,” said Capt. Moree.
Clementine’s story shows how a “shelter dog” can be both a beloved pet and a soothing source of support and comfort. The firehouse hopes that by sharing Clementine’s story, others will be inspired to give more “underdogs” like Clementine a second chance to thrive in a loving home.
“It’s amazing. We adopted Clementine to help raise awareness of the huge impact rescuing a pet from a local shelter can have, especially on the mental health of first responders, and now receiving this national award through the ASPCA helps us.” to accomplish just that,” Capt. Moore said.
Congratulations, Clementine, and thanks for all you do for a fire station full of first responders!
Featured Image: Facebook