The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : A D.C. Police Officer Received an Award from the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League for Helping a dog who Escaped From an Apartment Fire

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A D.C. Police Officer Received an Award from the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League for Helping a dog who Escaped From an Apartment Fire

Washington, DC - As an apartment building fire sent a cloud of black smoke over D.C. Tuesday afternoon, a small dog was able to make a fast escape.

Lucy, an 11-year-old rat terrier, was inside a home on the 1300 block of 12th Street NW when the building caught fire. A Metropolitan Police Department officer was able to save her after he spotted the dog running from the building with burns.

Officer Douglas Berlin was making sure residents got out of buildings safely when he saw Lucy, who's black-and-white with big black ears, tear down the block.

"As I was coming down the stairs from one of the adjoining units, I saw Lucy take off, running down the street, and it looked like she had burns on her hindquarters, and her paws looked to be pretty bloody, so I gave chase," Berlin said Wednesday afternoon at a news conference.

He and a man with a skateboard dodged in and out of traffic for blocks to try to catch Lucy, said Berlin, who described himself as a dog-lover.




"I thought at one point she was going to get hit because she ran underneath a car," he said. "Fortunately, she came out on the other side of the median and didn't skip a beat."

Finally, the officer was able to catch the 13-pound dog. Berlin and others used water and ice to try to cool her down and rushed her to a nearby veterinarian. There, vets disinfected her paws and gave her painkillers and an IV.

Lucy was discharged from the vet on Wednesday, according to Berlin, who said he had exchanged texts with her owner.

"She's a fighter. She runs like she's 2. She gave me a good run for my money last night," Berlin said, laughing.

Three firefighters were hurt battling the blaze and 12 residents were displaced, including the family that owns Lucy, the head of the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League said. She thanked Berlin for his help and presented him with the Humane Hero Award.

“What Officer Berlin did yesterday was above and beyond the call of duty,” CEO Lisa LaFontaine said. "A family that lost everything yesterday will at least have their family complete today because Lucy survived and that would likely have been a different outcome without Officer Berlin."





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