YORK COUNTY, SC (FOX 46 WJZY) - It's a story of fate. A York County officer helped save the lives of puppies trapped inside a Dachshund rescue that went up in flames. One dog, though, was saved twice.
Officer Bob Lara might be in the dog house after this one; he already has three Doxins at home, but when a fire ripped through the Chapman’s Dachshund Rescue, he helped save a Doxin named Diego. He couldn't bare to let him go.
“Hey, boy,” said Officer Bob Lara to Diego. “We're going to fix those eyebrows, you got to fix that mustache."
That kind of treatment was far-fetched just a few days ago when Diego the Dachshund was a rescue without a home.
“He was the product of a puppy mill, unfortunately,” said Lara. “He could not produce so they kind of left him aside.”
Diego’s story went from bad to worse when the Chapman's Dachshund Rescue suddenly went up in flames.
Officer Bob Lara with York PD was one of the first ones on scene trying to corral the K9s.
“I heard somebody say a few of them broke out of their compounds and they run into the woods,” he said.
Lara grabbed his flashlight, and searched for any pup; He found Diego.
“This one,” he said pointing to Diego. “immediately his tail started going and he was licking me half to death.”
That night, Lara saved Diego a second time when he chose to adopt him.
“He's not going anywhere. We're going home.”
What Officer Lara left out is that he and his wife had their eye on him for quite some time.
“Diego got out,” recalled Gina Chapman, the owner of the rescue. “and he got Diego, and I knew they had been wanting to adopt Diego for weeks,” she continued, “and they keep coming by and looking at him.”
Chapman is trying to look at the silver lining. Even through eight dogs lost their lives in the fire, they were able to save 49 of them with help of everyone who responded.
“I can't express the gratitude for everyone that's helped us,” she told FOX 46.
Since the fire last week, people have donated dog beds, food -- you name it.
The list of necessities to get this place back up and running is daunting, but Chapman says she's up for the challenge.
They'll need help with just about everything: contractors, an electrician, help with labor, donations to help build the place. They had insurance, but it won't come close to covering the cost of what they lost.
As far as Diego's future, he's getting measured for a vest and he'll eventually go to schools with Officer Lara to help teach kids about fire safety.