Shelter dog saves his foster family from fire, then finds his forever home

It’s always nice when shelter dogs have foster families — it’s a way for them to get out of the shelter and used to living in a home while they wait for a “forever home.”

For one family, fostering a dog was the best decision they ever made… because the dog ended up saving their lives!


Christopher Cushna and Shiela Janes recently took in a Great Pyrenees named Moose from the Portsmouth Humane Society, as part of a foster program. According to WTKR, they described the dog as a “gentle giant” who was the most quiet dog at the shelter.

But while Moose may be quiet, he knows when to speak up — that’s what the family of five learned during one emergency situation where Moose saved the day.

Facebook/Portsmouth Humane Society

The family was fast asleep on their houseboat, when Moose suddenly woke them up. They realized what Moose was warning them about: a fire had broken out at the marina, and was spreading fast.

The fire ended up destroying many boats at the marina, but thankfully the family was able to escape safely.

“It was a really big inferno… It was hot. It was very hot,” Christopher told WTKR. “We got around it safely to shore and that’s when our boat caught fire.”

May be an image of fire and boat
Facebook/The Great Loop

They gave all the credit to Moose for waking them up in time.

“If Moose was not there, at the very least, it would have been an emergency evacuation. I could have seen us having to dive into the waters. It would have surprised us. What Moose was able to do was eliminate the surprise.”

The family said it was like Moose was repaying them for taking him in as a foster: “What I like to think is we saved Moose from the situation she was in and she saved us on the boat,” said Christopher.

Just one day after the fire, Moose got adopted into a new home. However, this proved to be a bad fit, and he was soon returned to the shelter. But after that false start, Moose found a true forever family.

According to WTKR, Ciara Hill and her husband, from Virginia, heard the stories about Moose on the news and after learning he was back in the shelter decided to bring him home.

“It’s hard not to fall in love with a sweet fellow like that,” Ciara Hill told WTKR. “My other animals are welcoming him in, and he seems to be pretty comfortable… He has just made himself at home.”

🥳 We are so grateful that Moose got the home of his dreams this past week! We have SO many more dogs hoping to be just…

Posted by Portsmouth Humane Society on Tuesday, August 22, 2023

What an incredible story! Great job, Moose — we’re so glad this hero dog has found the home he deserves!

Please share this amazing news! ❤️🐾