First responders rescue, revive seven dogs from Porter County house fire

ISP Trooper Justin Hansen helps resuscitate a dog that suffered smoke inhalation. (Photo: Boone Grove Fire Department)

HEBRON, Ind. (WTHR) - First responders from several agencies teamed up to save seven dogs from a house fire in Porter County.

Indiana State Police Trooper Justin Hansen, who is also a volunteer firefighter, responded to the fire on South CR 500 West in Porter County around 4 p.m. Tuesday. When he arrived on the scene, there was thick black smoke coming from the garage windows.

Two Porter County Sheriff's Department deputies, two Hebron police officers and the Hebron fire chief were at the fire, but fire trucks had not yet arrived.

The first responders entered the smoke-filled structure and found the seven dogs, all unconscious, including two which were pregnant.

The officers and fire chief began CPR on the dogs, providing oxygen and even opening the dog's airways to blow air in their lungs. Neighbors also came to the scene to assist. Medics arrived and used masks designed for pets to provide oxygen to the animals.

(Photo: Boone Grove Fire Department)
(Photo: Hebron Police Department)
(Photo: Boone Grove Fire Department)
(Photo: Boone Grove Fire Department)
(Photo: Boone Grove Fire Department)

As six of the dogs went to local animal hospitals by police officers, Trooper Hansen took the most badly injured dog to an animal hospital in Valparaiso. As he drove, Firefighter Mike Luzack from Kouts administered CPR to the dog in the backseat of Hansen's patrol car.

Wednesday, the breeder who owns the dogs, who are all Labradors, said they survived their injuries. Three of the dogs are still at the vet, but are doing well. Only one of the dogs sustained burns, the owner said.

"(The) outcome was very good," the owner wrote on Facebook.

Boone Grove Fire Chief Mike Meinert said the pet masks used in the rescue were donated by a citizen and it's just the third time they've had to use them in 10 years.

Meinert said the fire does not appear to be suspicious and may have been caused by a heat lamp in the garage. The homeowners were away when the fire broke out.

Porter County Animal Control officers also helped with the rescue.