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Dog rescued from hot car makes 'pawsitive' impact on East Haven Fire Department and community

Nearly 7,000 people in East Haven helped name the dog who was rescued from a hot car last weekend.
Credit: East Haven Fire Department

EAST HAVEN, Connecticut — A dog rescued by the East Haven Fire Department has a new home and a new name! 

But, not just any home – he'll be staying with the people who rescued him and becoming a station support dog. 

Last weekend, fire crews rescued the dog from a distressing situation: He was in a locked, hot car. 

From there, East Haven residents were asked to help in the important task of naming the dog! Nearly 7,000 votes were cast in just three days, according to Mayor Joseph Carfora's office. 

Surpassing four other names (including a close-second "Cinder"), the dog's name became Riggs and he's already having a "pawsitive" impact on everyone he's interacted with!

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“The East Haven Fire Department is deeply grateful to the residents of East Haven for taking the time to participate in this endeavor," said Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli. "Each vote not only solidified a name but also underscored the vital role the community plays in fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie within the fire department.” Marcarelli also emphasized the importance of Riggs' companionship in alleviating the stress and trauma that firefighters often face in the line of duty.

Carfora, along with Police Chief Ed Lennon, recognizes the profound impact a support dog like Riggs can have on the well-being of firefighters. Carfora expressed his enthusiasm for Riggs' involvement with the department

“He is an official ambassador for the department and the residents. Riggs is an Eastie now," said Carfora.

With Riggs now officially named, the East Haven Fire Department thanked those who participated in the naming process. 

As Riggs settles into his new role, the department looks forward to his positive impact on the well-being of the firefighters and the broader community. 

To follow Riggs' journey in the future, please visit the town’s website or The East Haven Fire Department's social media channels.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com. 

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