Mastiff saves family from house fire; Officials honor him for his bravery

Islip, NY – Town officials awarded a former shelter dog with the highest of honors today, a “Key to the Town,” after displaying true bravery and dedication to his family during a recent house fire in Brentwood. Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Councilman Steve Flotteron presented Bear, a 150-pound Neapolitan Mastiff/ Cane Corso mix, with a “Key to the Town”, who, in turn, wasted no time to show his appreciation by eating it within only minutes.The key was a 12-inch dog biscuit in the shape of a key, provided by local bakery, Gourmet Pet Treats by Lucky and Max.


Bear was responsible for saving his new adoptive owner, Carol Swinson, and her nine-year-old grandson, DJ, after a fire broke up at their Brentwood home. Bear jumped on top of Carol to wake her up and alert her of the danger. The family was able to escape the fire safely and they are currently living in a trailer until their home can be fully repaired. The Swinson family rescued Bear only two weeks before the fire occurred.

“The Swinson family rescued Bear, and in turn, Bear rescued them from imminent danger—this is an amazing story with a fortunate ending,” Bergin Weichbrodt said. “Bear represents dozens of deserving dogs available for adoption at our Shelter and we encourage everyone to meet them personally.”

Bear was also rewarded with two baskets of toys collected by the Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center, Bear’s former home. The toys were donated from residents all throughout the Town of Islip in efforts to replace those he lost in the fire. Bear was at the shelter for two months after being picked up by the Town’s Animal Control Officers in Oakdale in May.

Pictured: (Left to right) Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, DJ Swinson, Carol Swinson, and Bear.