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First responders adopt dogs they rescued from a plane crash: 'He fell out of the sky in front of me'

Three dogs have been adopted by first responders who raced to the plane crash site and more are contacting the shelters every day.

First responders adopt dogs they rescued from a plane crash: 'He fell out of the sky in front of me'
Cover Image Source: YouTube/CBS 58

On November 15, a big twin-engine plane from Louisiana that was bringing 53 dogs to shelters in southeast Wisconsin encountered technical difficulties and crashed on a golf course at Pewaukee's Western Lakes Golf Club, reported PEOPLE. Fortunately, all of the humans and dogs onboard survived the brutal crash. Three persons onboard had non-life-threatening injuries and were sent to a local hospital while some of the dogs received minor injuries such as bruises and scratches, authorities revealed.

In a heartwarming turn of events, the first responders who raced to the scene instantly fell in love with the furry passengers they rescued from the crash. Days later, three of them volunteered to welcome some of their new friends into their homes as the latest addition to their families. The first responders from the Lake Country Fire Rescue adopted three puppies called Lucky, Artemis and Marley. 


Holding an adorable puppy in her arms, Elle Steitzer—a firefighter and EMT at Lake Country Fire Rescue—told WSIN: "As soon as I found out all of them were OK, my first thought was that one of them is coming home with me. So this is my little Lucky." Steitzer, along with two other Lake Country Fire Rescue employees, adopted the dogs on Friday. 

When Deputy Chief Tony Wasielewski arrived at the site of the crash, his recently adopted puppy Marley leaped into his arms. The officer was moved by the gesture and proceeded to check for Marley the next day at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, which had taken in 21 of the dogs from the accident. He said, "When they let her in the door she bypassed my wife and ran to me, jumped into my arms and gave me kisses. I started to tear up a little bit and said, 'Oh boy, I guess we got a dog.'"


Amber Christian, a firefighter and paramedic with Lake Country Fire Rescue, adopted Artemis. She said, "He just kind of fell out of the sky in front of me, so here he is." 

Elmbrook Humane Society, which took in 11 canines, said that they'd received "quite a few" calls from the first responders inquiring about the animals. While they typically don't let people adopt until the animals have been listed on their website, on this one occasion, they gave "first dibs" to the plane crash's first responders.

Stephanie Deswarte, a front desk manager for the shelter, told ABC News, "We had quite a few of them calling asking... We normally don't let people adopt until we have them up on our website because we want to give anybody as fair of a chance as possible. But since they were obviously in the thick of it, and they did such a great job trying to help with the whole crazy situation, that we gave all first responders first dibs so to speak to adopt before they went up on the website."


Deswarte further revealed that three puppies named Charlie Brown, Linus and Sally had been adopted by others involved in the rescue mission, including a golf course employee. She said, "We have never had something quite like this happen before. It was a miracle that everybody really was OK."

At a news conference on Tuesday, Lake Country Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Matthew Haerter praised the pilot for what he characterized as a "relatively catastrophic landing." The plane crashed through the woods, losing both wings, before landing on the course. He said, "I think all of us collectively have a soft spot in our hearts, especially for dogs that have been rescued. This could have turned out so much worse."

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