Volunteer Deputy Dives into Burning Car to Save Dog at AKC Show

A dog show in Virginia almost ended in tragedy last Saturday when an SUV with an Mastiff inside caught fire.

Local news station WAVY reported that Christina Neff was showing another dog at the Chesapeake Virginia Dog Fanciers Association All Breeds Dog Show while her Mastiff, Lemon Chiffon, waited in the car, parked close enough for her to see.

What she saw, though, was her worst nightmare: Deputies were running around her car, which had begun pouring smoke.

Fortunately, a volunteer deputy, Wayne Spencer, acted quickly. He removed Chiffon from the vehicle and jumped in the driver’s seat to move it from the crowd.

Neff was terrified her dog had died in the blaze and is grateful for Spencer’s brave actions. He and the other deputies were honored with an award at the show.

“Due to their quick thinking and quick reaction, no lives nor dogs were lost,” an organizer said at the show.

“The deputies went above and beyond their duty and saved the dog and got the vehicle out of the way, which was parked near the RVs, so no people or dogs got hurt,” CVDFA president Jill Wright told AKC.org.

Wright also explained that in spite of the commotion, the dogs and handlers stayed focused on the show. “The show went on!” she said, “There was black smoke and explosions, but the judges and the show dogs didn’t blink an eye. The dogs were just trotting around the ring like nothing was going on.”