Utah, my home state, doesn’t always make headlines for positive stories; polygamy, bizarre politics and air pollution are often tied to news about the state. However, community involvement and helping others are characteristics highly regarded in Utah, so I was happy, but not surprised, to hear this story in The Salt Lake Tribune about a firefighter going beyond the call of duty.
When firefighter Tyler Petersen arrived to the scene of the I-15 accident, he found one car with an unresponsive driver and three dogs, two of which were seriously injured. After managing the accident scene, Petersen said he would pay for the medical care of the dogs if someone drove them to the vet.
Petersen made this fateful decision because the motorist was unresponsive and no relatives could be reached. In this emergency scenario, the firefighter knew these injured animals were at risk of being put down.
Karol Johnson, who volunteers for the Brigham City Animal Shelter, quickly traveled to the scene of the accident on Interstate 15 and picked up the three dogs — a black Lab and two poodles. She brought them to the nearby Canyon View Health Center.
After leaving the scene of the accident, the firefighter with the big heart arrived at the pet clinic and learned that one poodle had a broken pelvis and needed surgery. The second poodle required oxygen for an undetermined amount of time, which is an expensive proposition.
At this point the driver’s sons had been contacted and were considering putting one of the poodles down. That is until Petersen said he would pay for the oxygen tank.
The black lab appeared to have escaped serious injury, but the firefighter offered to pay for a cautionary X-ray.
Johnson recalled that the vet bills for the three dogs easily approached $1,000. She was in awe that a stranger would willingly pay the medical bills of pets he did not even know.
Two employees from the Canyon View Animal Health Center hospital also came forward and offered to come in after hours to care for the dogs free-of-charge, as they were so inspired by the sacrifices made by the firefighter.
All in all, a number of good people came together to save these dogs – and make the world a better place.
According to KSL News Radio, Petersen was told the mom and all three dogs are doing well.