Foster Dog Saves Building Residents

A foster dog named Colt helped rescue Zachary from carbon monoxide poisoning, and in return Zach rescued his forever best friend.

Zachary + Colt

Colt’s reaction to a carbon monoxide leak became a lifesaving measure for Zachary and his neighbors. Then Colt got a second chance of his own, and helped Zachary find a renewed appreciation for life.

"If Colt had not been there, I would have gone to sleep that night and most likely never woken up. He truly took a bullet for me and the residents of my building. He was my hero."

Before I met Colt, I didn’t think I was ready to commit to a forever dog. As it turns out, the universe had other plans for me. It sent me a dog I didn’t know I needed — a dog who would save my life. From the moment I picked him up as my foster dog, I knew Colt was special. He walked right up to me and promptly presented himself for belly rubs. He was friendly, even-keeled, eager to please, and just so happy! On our first night together, he joined me on the sofa and fell fast asleep in my lap as if I was already his person.

Just a few days later, I left Colt snoozing in his crate and went out for a quick dinner. As I left, I noted a faint odor inside, but my building was old and this was New York City where unidentifiable odors are the norm, so I didn’t think much of it. Ten minutes later, however, I became very dizzy, which was abnormal for me. Remembering the smell, I immediately rushed home to check on Colt. When I opened the door, there he was — lying on his side, semiconscious, in a pool of vomit. I tried desperately to rouse him, and when I couldn’t, I scooped up his lifeless body and rushed him outside in a daze, frantically trying to figure out how I could hold him and hail a cab at the same time. Thank goodness for kind neighbors, as one of mine saw me and leaped into action. She hailed the cab, jumped into the front seat, and called the emergency vet to let them know we were on our way. The vet took him to the back immediately and as I sat in the waiting room, my head started to clear. Only then did I truly put two and two together, and my next call was to the fire department. 

Colt spent two nights in the hospital with poisoning from what turned out to be a massive carbon monoxide leak. If Colt had not been there, I would have gone to sleep that night and most likely never woken up. He truly took a bullet for me and the residents of my building. He was my hero. The moment I realized this, was the moment I knew I had to return the favor and save Colt right back. I adopted him as soon as he was released from the hospital. Colt has since made a full recovery and continues to be the happiest companion. Not only did he save my life, but he taught me how to appreciate the life I had. Before him, I lived a fast-paced, thoughtless existence, often spending long hours at work, accountable to no one but myself. Colt has taught me how to slow down and live selflessly. We all know that adopting saves lives. In this case, Colt saved me — in more ways than one.

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Zachary won Muddy Paws Rescue in Long Island, New York a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.