In a world filled with loving pet owners, there are, unfortunately, those who should never be near animals. This story is about one such individual and the heartwarming transformation of a puppy named Chunk.

A Life of Cruelty Chunk, a beautiful three-month-old puppy, started her life in a household filled with cruelty and neglect. Her owner subjected her to unspeakable abuse, robbing her of the joy and vitality that every puppy deserves. After enduring three months of suffering, Chunk’s owner heartlessly abandoned her, chaining her to a tree beside a desolate road, leaving her to face the elements alone.

A Ray of Hope Chunk’s fate took an unexpected turn when a local fire department crew stumbled upon her during a frigid October day in Sacramento. Responding to an urgent call, they spotted the helpless puppy shivering by the roadside. Despite their immediate responsibilities, they couldn’t ignore the plight of this innocent creature.

A Hero Emerges Among the firefighters, it was Mike Thawley who made the compassionate decision to rescue Chunk. He scooped up the freezing puppy and brought her back to the fire department station. Mike and his fellow firefighters rallied around Chunk, providing her with the warmth and care she so desperately needed.

Their first course of action was to offer Chunk a warm bath to alleviate her cold-induced suffering. Surrounding her with love, the firefighters showered her with affectionate cuddles and reassuring embraces.

More Than Skin Deep As they cared for Chunk, it became evident that her suffering ran deeper than the cold. Chunk was battling severe mange, a skin condition often seen in dogs that have suffered abuse and neglect. The fire station did what they could, but they knew that she needed more specialized care.

A Community’s Support Front Street Animal Shelter stepped in to provide Chunk with the treatment she needed for her mange. They also arranged a foster home where she could recover and heal. However, Chunk’s journey to recovery was far from smooth, and it took time for her fur to grow back.

A Heartwarming Reunion During her stay at the shelter and foster home, Chunk had someone on her mind – Firefighter Mike Thawley. He returned to the shelter, much to Chunk’s delight. The pitbull puppy recognized her savior instantly, and the joy in her eyes was unmistakable.

“We all just sort of fell in love with her,” shared the Sacramento Fire Department on their Facebook page.

A Forever Home Mike Thawley didn’t visit the shelter alone; he brought his wife and three daughters with him, each with a heartfelt reason for being there. They were all determined to make Chunk a part of their family.

“Although Mike disputes it, it looks by a vote of four to one that Chunk could end up with a permanent home!” the post added with a grin.

A Happy Ending

After four months of patiently waiting for Chunk’s mange treatment to conclude, Mike and his family finally welcomed her into their home. It wasn’t just Chunk who found her forever family; it was also a moment of happiness for the Thawley family.

“What’s fantastic about this entire story is that not only did this dog get its forever home, but it also got the chance to go to a foster home, which we’re always searching for at our shelter, to become happy and healthy,” noted Bobby Mann, a shelter staff member.

Chunk’s story is a testament to the resilience of animals and the compassion of people like Firefighter Mike Thawley and his family. In the face of adversity, Chunk found her way into a loving home, and her transformation serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there can be a glimmer of hope.


1. How did the firefighters discover Chunk?

  • The firefighters stumbled upon Chunk during an urgent call when they found her chained by the roadside.

2. What condition was Chunk suffering from?

  • Chunk was battling severe mange, a skin condition commonly seen in abused or neglected dogs.

3. Who decided to adopt Chunk?

  • Firefighter Mike Thawley and his family, including his wife and three daughters, decided to adopt Chunk.

4. How long did it take for Chunk’s mange treatment to be completed?

  • Chunk’s mange treatment took four months before she could be adopted by the Thawley family.

5. What organization helped Chunk on her journey to recovery?

  • Front Street Animal Shelter provided Chunk with the specialized care she needed and arranged for her to stay in a foster home during her recovery.

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