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Iowa firefighter adopts 16-month-old dog he rescued from a burning building

Saved his life – twice! Iowa firefighter adopts 16-month-old dog he rescued from a burning building after owners chose to euthanize him instead of pay for ‘potentially expensive’ treatment

  • Malcolm Cortner, 38, was among the members of the Des Moines Fire Department who responded to an apartment fire in late September 
  • He helped locate the mastiff and pull him from the building, according to the post shared on the City of Des Moines Facebook page
  • After the dog’s owners decided to euthanize him instead of pay for further treatment, Cortner stepped in and asked to sign for possession of the mastiff


A firefighter in Iowa has a new best friend after adopting a 16-month-old dog he rescued from a burning building, saving him from being euthanized. 

Malcolm Cortner, 38, was among the members of the Des Moines Fire Department who responded to an apartment fire in late September.  

He helped locate the mastiff and pull him from the building, according to the post shared on the City of Des Moines Facebook page

Happy ending: Firefighter Malcolm Cortner, 38, from Des Moines, Iowa, adopted his 16-month-old mastiff, George, after rescuing him from a burning building in late December 

Hero: After the dog's owners decided to euthanize him instead of pay for 'potentially expensive' treatment, Cortner stepped in and asked to sign for possession of the mastiff

Hero: After the dog’s owners decided to euthanize him instead of pay for ‘potentially expensive’ treatment, Cortner stepped in and asked to sign for possession of the mastiff

The first responders administered oxygen to the dog on the scene, but it was determined that he required further medical attention. 

The city’s Animal Care and Control told the dog’s owners that he needed ‘potentially expensive treatment’ at their expense or euthanasia. 

When the owners opted to euthanize the dog, Cortner stepped in and asked to sign for possession of the mastiff, so he could pay for the treatment. 

City officials were happy to report that his request was granted and treatment was arranged for the dog, who is known as George. 

The post included two photos of the pooch: one of him lying on his side in the grass while receiving oxygen and another of him sitting up, looking healthy.  

Saved: The City of Desmoines shared the heartwarming story on its Facebook page, including pictures of George after he was rescued

Saved: The City of Desmoines shared the heartwarming story on its Facebook page, including pictures of George after he was rescued 

‘Congratulations to Fire Fighter Cortner who has a new best friend, George,’ the post concluded. 

Many people took to the comments to praise Cortner for adopting the dog while sharing photos of their own beloved rescues.  

‘Thank you, Firefighter Cortner!’ one person wrote. ‘George has such a great life ahead of him! Our mastiff is a rescue and he has truly been such a blessing to our lives! Thank you for being a blessing to George.’

‘Fire fighter Cortland is a hero in more ways than one,’ another shared. ‘Taking in a pet is always like adopting a new member of the family, but bringing in a Mastiff is like bringing home a child in an adult body! I hope they have a long lifetime together.’

Someone else added: ‘Thank you Malcom Cortner for rescuing this handsome boy, he will become the joy and light in your world, because [there] is nothing like the love of a Mastiff. I don’t know why, it’s just different.’

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