Throwback Thursday – National Pet Fire Safety Day

Trusty Dalmatian Guards Crates of Budweiser Beer during 1992 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Color photograph from the Herb Herbert Collection, Montauk Library Archives.

A favorite website is National Today, or  It’s a day-by-day calendar, listing an event or activity that is celebrated on a particular day in a specific month, every year.  According to National Today, “We keep track of fun holidays and special moments on the cultural calendar.” One of the best things about National Today is the history that accompanies each holiday.

Some of the event days are no surprise, such as National Poinsettia Day, taking place on December 12th.  However, there is also Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day on December 8th.  Not only will you learn the earliest mention of time travel; you can read a short discussion about particle acceleration.

For today, July 15th, a number of cultural phenomena are being recognized, but for our TBT we are choosing National Pet Fire Safety Day.  According to, “National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15, and it’s a day to learn how to keep your pet safe in a fire. … It was started by the Kennel Club and ADT Security in 2009 to help pet owners learn safety measures to protect their beloved pets and homes from fire, and it’s a great opportunity to learn how to keep your fur baby safe.”

Have you ever wondered why Dalmatians are associated with firehouses?  Here’s what National Today has to say:  “A few hundred years ago, dogs were trained to trot alongside horse-drawn wagons and protect their occupants (and horses) from harm. Dalmatians quickly became the ideal carriage dog for their strength, vitality, fortitude, and size. They also had a reputation for getting along well with horses and were known to have a calming effect while firefighters were battling a blaze. Over time, as motorized fire trucks replaced carriages, Dalmatians and other fire pups were seen less aboard fire trucks and more as on-site firehouse residents and mascots.”

And now, finally, here’s the human kindness factor described:  “Today, many firehouses around the country still have Dalmatians as station dogs. However, Dalmatians aren’t the only dog in the firehouse. It’s become common for firefighters (and sometimes entire fire teams) to adopt dogs rescued from fires. These lucky pups, whatever their breed, become symbols of the resiliency, bravery, and fortitude of firefighters and the individuals they help. They also take important steps into education and helping firefighters demonstrate fire safety and emergency preparedness for schools and community groups across the country.”

The Montauk Fire Department is known for its beautiful relationship with animals.  Rescuing cats, dogs, and deer from the sea, burning buildings, and trees, our firemen have put their lives on the line to save our beloved pets.

Firemen, and the pets who have been known to warn their owners of a house fire (including the pet snake who saved a family’s life!), deserve our thanks.

You can learn more about Pet Fire Safety Day, and other holidays, on this wonderful website:

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