Memphis firefighters saved dog’s life; now he needs a forever home

Pig the dog has a new home — but he needs an even newer one. A…

Pig the dog has a new home — but he needs an even newer one.

A mixed-breed canine with a high percentage of American Pit Bull Terrier in the blend, Pig was resuscitated by firefighters and paramedics on Nov. 6, 2020, after he was pulled from a house fire on Coleman Avenue in Memphis.

The rescue was chronicled in a popular story and video in The Commercial Appeal.

Photographer Raymond Chiozza captured Pig’s rescue and revival in a series of photos and a video. Overcome by smoke, the dog was apparently abandoned inside the empty house. The dog appeared dead, but rescue workers administered oxygen and massaged his body until, with several wags of his tail, he returned to life.

“Great save today by the Memphis Fire Department on Coleman Avenue,” Chiozza posted on social media. “One of Gods beautiful creatures was brought back from crossing over the Rainbow Bridge this morning. These firemen would not let the dog leave this earth working with the dog for about 30 minutes.”

Dubbed “Pig” by rescuers, who likely were inspired by the animal’s stubby pinkish muzzle, Pig has spent most of his subsequent 400-plus days at the Sunny Meadows Safe Haven for Pets, a private non-profit “no-kill” animal rescue service on Getwell. 

He never was adopted, possibly due to a skittish, fearful nature that suggests he was mistreated and traumatized even before the fire.

Wednesday, Pig, who is about 3 years old, was moved to a new home: The Furgiven Animal Sanctuary in West Memphis.

Pig, the dog.

What is the Furgiven Animal Sanctuary?

Opened in August by longtime Memphis animal shelter workers, Furgiven — yes, the name is a pun — is also a “no-kill” non-profit, but with a tail-like twist: Its mission is to work with shelters, to provide a home — and, organizers hope, find permanent homes — for “special case” dogs with behavioral and neurological difficulties that typically cause them to be overlooked by would-be pet owners and make them candidates for euthanasia.