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Firefighters have 100 percent success rate finding homes for shelter pets

Posted at 12:26 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 21:25:59-05

WACO, TX — Over the last few months, you've probably seen a handful of adorable photos of firefighters with pets pop up on your social media.

The partnership between the City of Waco and its firefighters, along with the Humane Society of Central Texas, began in December.

Every couple of weeks, adoptable shelter pets are taken to one of the fire stations in town to pose and play with firefighters.

On Wednesday, firefighters at Station 11 met a 2-year-old lab mix named Camey and a 2-month-old lab mix named Jon Snow.

Della Conner is the associate executive director at the Humane Society of Central Texas. She said these photo shoots help capture the dog's true personalities.

She said Camey is very calm and gentle, but it doesn't seem that way when he's in his kennel.

"In the kennel, he doesn't show that well because he knows that's not where he's supposed to be," Conner said. "His personality is great, we've just watched him really decompress while we've been out here today."

Camey is also on their urgent list since he's been at the shelter for more than two months.

The shelter receives about 30 animals a day. The firefighters are making sure dogs like Camey get the second chance they deserve.

Waco firefighter Brady Skinner spent the majority of the photo shoot handling Camey.

"He's just loving and gentle as could be," Skinner said. "These are two wonderful dogs we've got out here today. I have two dogs at home that I love very much. Anything I can do to get another dog a loving home feels great."

Waco firefighter Brett York ran around with Jon Snow.

"I've had fun with him! I don't think I'm going to workout today, I think chasing him was enough," York said. "He has lots of energy and loves snacks. A very wonderful puppy. He'd be great anywhere with lots of space to run!"

Waco Fire Department Chief Bobby Tatum said his firefighters were excited for the opportunity.

"The firefighers were all in," Tatum said. "The number one thing is to be a part of our community, not just to be a fire department responding to fires, but meeting the needs of our community and that's something we all strive to do. The firefighters really bring out the energy and the personality in the pets, then that makes them adoptable."

The City of Waco posts the photos on social media and usually within a week the animal gets adopted.

Camey and Jon Snow are the latest dogs to experience the social media stardom. The other seven dogs featured over the last few months have all been adopted.

Dori Helm is the assistant director of municipal information for the City of Waco. She's the one who came up with the idea for the partnership.

"It's a great little road trip for the dogs and who doesn't like to play with dogs while they're at work? So it works out pretty well," Helm said.

Helm is happy with how well things are going and plans to keep the partnership going for as long as possible.

"We have 13 stations and we have three shifts, so we'd like to roll through all the stations and all the shifts," Helm said. "Then we'll probably start over!"

Helm said they plan to make a calendar in the near future.

To check out the pets that are up for adoption at the Humane Society of Central Texas, click here.