By Staff Reports
Shelter dog alerts masters to an early morning blaze:
(Apple Valley)– When Scott and CJ DeAndrea of Adelanto went to the Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter a year ago, they were looking for a puppy. What they came home with was a hero, who was responsible for saving a neighbor’s home, and perhaps even a life or two last Sunday.
Darcy was a two-month-old Akita mix when she was turned in to the shelter as a stray by a citizen in March of 2010. An adorable black and white fluff ball, she was only in the shelter 10 days when the DeAndreas adopted her last year.
“She had everything we were looking for in a dog,” said Scott DeAndreas. “She was going to be a good size and had a very good nature.”
Unfortunately, Darcy’s adoption quickly took a scary turn when she became lethargic shortly after arriving home. A vet check confirmed she had come down with parvo, a canine viral disease that is often a death sentence.
“We nursed her through it and I’m glad we did,” Scott said. If Darcy had not survived the disease, she would not have been around to alert her masters to a blaze at the neighbor’s house on Sunday morning.
“She was running in circles and acting like a crazy dog,” explained CJ, who had been doing laundry at the time. “When she ran around the corner outside, I followed her and saw that the barbecue, bucket and some of the wood on the porch next door was on fire.”
Knowing that her neighbors were probably asleep, CJ ran closer to the house and started screaming until her neighbor, Sharon Stevens, woke up and came out of the house. CJ then went back inside her own home to wake her husband, Scott, who grabbed a fire extinguisher to fight the blaze. When the fire proved too big for one fire extinguisher, Sharon Stevens and the DeAndreas fought the fire together with their garden hoses.
“We managed to get it out, but if it hadn’t been for Darcy, I wouldn’t have known. I would have just gone back into the house,” said CJ, who explained that if it had burned another few minutes without notice, the porch roof would have caught fire.
Stevens said she is grateful Darcy was there to save the day.
“I had barbecued the night before. I normally wait to clean out the barbecue until after it cools. I think a spark must have fallen down into the bucket,” she explained. “I woke up when I heard somebody outside hollering. When I opened the door, the barbecue and the porch was all in flames and everything that was on the porch was just melted.”
This is not the first time Darcy has been a hero. A few months ago, the dog alerted her owners that something was wrong outside. They went out to discover their neighbor’s dog stuck under the fence.
“Darcy is really great in emergency situations,” said Scott DeAndrea. “But she can be a little ditzy sometimes too and acts like a teenager “
The Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter is at 22131 Powhatan Road at the corner of Quinnault Road, two blocks south of Highway 18. Canine heroes can be adopted for $75 and feline companions are available for $35. Animal Services also offers licensing, microchip IDs and animal control services. For shelter hours or additional information visit their website at www.AVAnimals.org or call (760) 240-7000 ext. 7555