Firefighters successfully rescue dog stuck in tire

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Seasoned Houston firefighters at Station 51 thought they'd seen it all until a frantic good Samaritan dropped off a sweet, defenseless puppy with it's head stuck in a tire.

She found it next to the trash dumpster at her apartment complex. 

It would take firefighters more than an hour to free the frightened dog.

The rescue operation, which was caught on camera, was no easy feat.

"We tried to put soap on the side of its head, wet its head slide it out. It wouldn't come out.", said Senior Capt. Gregory Leonard.

So they dug into their arsenal of rescue tools instead.

Firefighters tried to keep the puppy, a black lab mix, calm while they carefully went to work.

"We really cut very carefully because any kind of pressure on the dog's neck could have snapped its neck or killed it," Leonard said.

They tried using a saw but the sound the vibrations frightened her. In the end, it was the Jaws of Life that did the trick. It's the same tool they'd use to extricate a person from a vehicle.

"We all love pets and we didn't want the dog to get hurt at all," Leonard said.

Firefighters named her Lugnut.

"It just goes with what happened to the dog. Got it's head caught in the tire and we just thought it was appropriate," Leonard said.

Leonard, who led the rescue, said his last encounter with a dog didn't end so well. A year ago, he was at a fire scene and was bitten by a dog he was attempting to rescue. The bite was so bad, he nearly lost a thumb.

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