Dog believed to have been rescued by late owner in South Tampa fire gets new home

WFLA plus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A dog believed to have been rescued by his owner before he died in a South Tampa house fire last week has a new home with one of the man’s friends.

Beloved gardener John Starnes died in the fire on Paxton Avenue on Nov. 26, according to Tampa police.

Tampa Fire Rescue was able to locate his dog, Cracker.

Carol Childs, with the National Humane Society, believes Starnes was able to rescue Cracker, who suffered lung injuries before he died.

“So we speculate that he, John, must’ve put him through the bathroom window,” Childs explained.

Childs and Starnes had a mutual friend in Pam Lunn, of Dancing Goat Farms.

When Lunn saw on the news that her friend had died, she knew she had to take care of Cracker.

Childs was able to get Cracker out of the Pet Resource Center and hold him until his adoption was made official on Friday.

“I knew he had to come here. I just knew that John would want him with me,” Lunn said firmly.

She told 8 On Your Side she knew Starnes for years.

“And he would always tell me about Cracker. And we didn’t see each other a lot, because he’s in South Tampa, he had a stroke about five years ago, and he didn’t drive far, a block or two that was about it. So he didn’t get out here much, but we did correspond a lot via the wonderful world of Facebook,” she said.

Lunn said Cracker is adjusting well to farm life, saying he “just has the instinct in him.”

She’s also teaching him to herd her goats.

In addition to Cracker, Lunn is also caring for chickens she gave her friend.

“[They] were hatched from eggs that I gave John years ago. I don’t know how old those chickens are, they’re probably 5, 6, 7 years old.”

Though Lunn’s friend is gone, she said his spirit lives on with his beloved four-legged friend.

“I see John in Cracker’s eyes at times, when he looks at me,” she said through tears.

LATEST STORIES:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Florida College isolates unvaccinated students after measles case on campus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Florida College isolates unvaccinated students after measles case on campus"

Gift cards destroyed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gift cards destroyed"

Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus"

Family pleads for help on 11th day of elderly woman's disappearance

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family pleads for help on 11th day of elderly woman's disappearance"

Big bust

Thumbnail for the video titled "Big bust"

Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs"

Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife"

Teenagers hold Unity Walk in Clearwater

Thumbnail for the video titled "Teenagers hold Unity Walk in Clearwater"

Cyber Safety Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cyber Safety Day"

Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later"

Blackthorn 40th anniversary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Blackthorn 40th anniversary"

Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss