Houston firefighters rescue dog intentionally hit by driver

A scared, homeless dog took sanctuary inside a northeast Houston fire station, probably because of friendly faces and scraps of food left for her. A few days later, those firefighters helped save her life.

Cameron Jennings was assigned to the fire station for a few days. Last Thursday morning, he saw the pup walk out of the garage bay as a fire truck was being washed. The dog headed toward Laura Koppe Road, which is in front of the building.

"I saw a driver swerve to hit her," Jennings recalled. "It's unfortunate but it was intentional."

The driver never stopped, but his concern was for the black and white pup, less than six months old.

"She got away and went into a drainage pipe," Jennings said.

That began a rescue that finally ended 12 hours after the dog was hit. Firefighters tried to get her out of the pipe between calls for service.

Jennings' mother, who does animal rescue, brought friends and helped in the rescue. In the end, the pup was pulled out.

Shaun Sonnier, Jennings' mom, recorded the final moments on her cell phone camera. The dog was whining, and it was soon obvious why she was in pain. Sonnier took her to a vet who diagnosed five pelvic fractures caused by the driver who struck her.

The video she posted on Facebook generated more than 14,000 views, with comments from other fire stations around the state and country and even Canada. Sonnier is hoping for financial support as well to pay for the needed veterinary surgery.

"I can't stand the thought of her not ever having a life or not being able to walk because of money, so we're gonna make it happen," she said.

Non-profit rescue organization The Joshua Fund has agreed to accept donations to help pay for her surgery and medical care.

"There are good people out there, they just need to know about it," said Jennings.

In addition to love and care, the pup now has a name: Piper 34. Piper for the place she was pulled from and 34 for the fire station from which some of her rescuers came.

To make a donation, visit joshuafundrescue.org.

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