There's a new member joining the ranks of a Connecticut fire department: A six-month-old dachshund-boxer-beagle mix puppy.
East Haven firefighters rescued the dog now called Riggs from a locked car with a temperature of 122 degrees, Mayor Joseph Carfora said. His owners surrendered him to an animal control officer shortly after.
This started a bidding war between the police department and the fire headquarters, with the fire crew ultimately taking home the prize.
The fire department elected the puppy Station Support Dog — a job that helps firefighters mitigate and cope with job stress.
"He has a great temperament and will get along with the on-duty crews as well as be an ambassador to the department at public education and community events," Carfora, who also took a liking to the puppy, said.
The mayor and fire department invited the public to aid in naming the new pet. In just three days, East Haven residents and beyond cast nearly 7,000 votes, and the name Riggs came out on top, just beating out "Cinder."
In a Facebook post from Carfora, the puppy's official name was described as "a fitting moniker that embodies strength, loyalty and resilience."
The East Haven Fire Department and Carfora say Riggs is now an "Eastie" and an essential member of the community, which funds the dog's vet care, food and other expenses through donations.
Anyone who wants to follow along or support Riggs' journey can visit the town's website at easthaven-ct.gov.
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