Shelter dog remembered as hero after saving family from house fire in Niagara Falls

Luigi may not have been on the top of the list for potential adopters who came looking for a dog at Niagara SPCA. He was a big boy with a lot of energy, but when the Bradley family came into the shelter to adopt a new best friend, it was love at first sight.

“We had just lost our previous pit bull who had passed away from cancer and we just like to have a dog. We went in there and looked at a bunch and none of them were a good fit. Then my wife went in there another day and said, ‘Look at this one. He’s so cute, he’s cross-eyed.’  So we took him outside and he just took to us. It was amazing. We knew right away that this was the dog,” said Gary Bradley.

Bradley says the next few months with Luigi were filled with nothing but love. He was playful, happy, and loved his family so very much.

“He brought so much sunshine into our lives,” he said.

Sadly last week, tragedy struck. Smoke filled the Bradley home in Niagara Falls. The fire alarm went off but it did not awaken Bradley’s wife or 18-year-old son who were both sound asleep.

“Luigi ran up the stairs and jumped on my son’s bed and woke him up and my son realized the house was filled with smoke. [My son] ran downstairs and was able to get my wife out of the bedroom and outside, but [Luigi] panicked and tried to hide on my son’s bed. My wife and son got out and tried to go back in and they couldn’t get him. The fire department worked on him for 20 minutes,” said Bradley in tears.

While Bradley is incredibly grateful that his family was unharmed from the fire, he will miss his best friend terribly.

“I just wish I could tell him thank you for saving my wife and son and thank you for all the happiness you brought to us in such a short period of time.”

The Bradley family is currently staying in a hotel until their temporary apartment is ready. They lost everything. A GoFundMe has been created to help at this difficult time. If you wish to donate in honor of Luigi’s heroism, you may do so here: www.gofundme.com/f/y7bp2j-bradley-family-house-fire.

Niagara SPCA will be creating a memorial paw stone in honor of Luigi and giving an adoption certificate to the Bradley family when they are ready. Our hearts go out to all of them. Thank you for your heroism, Luigi. You will never be forgotten.

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