Dogs recovering after being saved from house fire by Burton, Flint Township firefighters

Published: Jun. 14, 2019 at 7:39 PM EDT
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(06/14/19) - Two dogs who were saved by firefighters from a burning Flint Township home are on the mend.

The dogs' owners, Shawn Rust and girlfriend Samantha Howe, weren't home Wednesday afternoon at the time of the fire.



Rust was stuck in traffic. By the time he rushed home from Brighton, the dogs had already been transported to the hospital. Firefighters from Flint Township pulled them out - placing pet oxygen masks on them. Burton firefighters and Swartz Ambulance paramedics also helped the dogs.

"We were able to get the dog out of there, the dog was covered with blown insulation, some melted plastic from the kennel and was having a difficult time breathing," said Kirk Wilkinson, Burton Assistant Fire Chief.

Assistant Chief Wilkinson is talking about one-year-old Lab/Golden Retriever mix Memphis who had the most severe injuries. Three-year-old Ollie, who is the same breed, was also in bad shape. The two, who happen to be father and son, were still noticeably having trouble breathing Friday. However, they were taken off oxygen.

Friday, for the first time since they were rescued, the dogs were able to go outside and get some fresh air.

"They're still heavily medicated and being treated," Rust said.

Samantha says she believes the pet oxygen masks used by the fire department were instrumental in saving their lives.

With their house completely gone and now medical bills piling up, friends and family have stepped in to help them raise money through a


"They're my whole world. I don't have kids, yet, so they're my rock. The same thing - Memphis is Samantha's rock - my girlfriend. They're our life," Rust said.

is also helping Samantha and Shawn pick up the pieces by donating items that could really help them out, such as household goods.