Family Has Adopted Many Pets, but Only One Hero

Dog alerts mom to house fire just moments before it's too late.

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Heather + Mojo

The following is written by my daughter, Isabelle Koslin:

I am very grateful that our lives are blessed by our animals. Animals are family to us. My mom, Heather Thomas, is always rescuing wild animals and strays from the streets. She has stopped traffic for not only cats and dogs, but snapping turtles, snakes and possums, too! We even welcomed a stray cat into our family despite the fact that she is allergic to cats.

"Mojo was my mom's only alarm. "

I’m writing to tell you about how we rescued a Hero named Mojo. We never imagined how significant he would be to our family.


A year ago we discovered A.A.R.F. had a senior Schnauzer that needed rescuing after his owner died. We had just suffered the loss of our family dog, Eeyore, who had been in my life since I was five. I didn’t expect Mojo to replace my best friend Eeyore, but it seemed like perfect timing. After two weeks of begging my mom, we adopted him.


Mom said Mojo would help mend our broken hearts and he did much more than that….He fell into our lives and hearts at the perfect time. He slept in my bed, he followed me around the house, and he gave me such comfort. Miraculously less than a year later, he would save my mom’s life.


I was traveling on a college visit early when a fire tragically started (most likely from the mini-fridge) on our back porch. My mother was asleep when Mojo started barking frantically. Mom got up reluctantly because it was before daybreak on a Sunday morning. Mom didn’t smell smoke or see the fire. There was no smoke in the house yet so no fire alarms were going off because there wasn’t a smoke detector on the back porch or in the attic. Mojo was my mom’s only alarm. By the time she got to Mojo and our puppy, Cody, the fire was breaking through the windows and flames were raging 15 feet from her and the dogs. The fire spread so quickly and it was minutes before the entire house was engulfed in flames.

My mother was in the fight of her life, dragging two frightened dogs through toxic smoke to safety.


Mojo’s bark was the alarm that woke my mom and gave her time to get my family out of danger. The fire chief said that my mom lived her luckiest day and that Mojo saved my mom’s life by giving her critical moments to get out our front door, 4 rooms away from her bedroom. Mojo is the reason my mom survived. We have rescued several animals over the years, but this time we hit the JackPot! Mojo is the reason that my family is still alive… We have A.A.R.F. to thank for helping us rescue a HERO.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Heather Thomas won AARF Pets Tennessee a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.