El Paso dog receives award after saving his owner’s life

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Editor’s Note: The El Paso Fire Department first reported the dog’s name as Cosmo. Upon correction, the family notified he is actually named Astro.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Not all heroes wear capes. Some have four legs, a wagging tail and like to bark.

Astro, an American Pit Bull Terrier, received all the attention Friday afternoon as the El Paso Fire Department and El Paso Animal Services joined to award the pooch for a heroic act.

As KTSM previously reported, The El Paso Fire Department said Astro alerted a Good Samaritan his owner was having a medical emergency. Emergency medical personnel were alerted and responded to the call.

Joined by his family, Astro received an award and some special doggie cake on Friday. El Paso Fire Department officials said the call was something unlike what they’d seen.

“We know that the dog was even trying to climb into the ambulance with the owner, firefighters had to lure him into a vehicle for family members to come and pick him up and without his help the patient might have never been found,” Enrique Duenas-Aguilar, an EPFD spokesperson, said.

Not much information was provided about the person with the medical emergency out of privacy, but the family said they are recovering and stable.

His owners said they were surprised because they never gave Astro special training to alert people in the case of an emergency.

“We never thought in a million years he’d do something like that,” Bertha Martinez, his owner, said.

The family adopted Astro about a year ago after they said he would wander the streets as a stray. Martinez said she actually didn’t know how long they’d keep him because she was scared of Pitbulls.

“I’ve always been scared of Pitbulls and when we brought him home I wasn’t sure we’d keep him for a long time cause he was going to grow up,” Martinez said.

But then, he saved her son.

“If you treat him well and don’t harm them or anything then they become what he is,” Martinez said.

And what he is, is a hero.

Ramon Herrera, interim director for El Paso Animal Services, said this is a perfect example to not judge dogs based on their breeds.

“Not only was he a friend but he was there to help when his owner needed him the most,” Herrera said.

He encourages the pubic to consider adopting pets from the shelter rather than through breeders.

“He really set an example for dogs that look just like him, Astro is definitely a Pitbull and that is one of the main breeds you find in many shelters,” Herrera said.

Astro’s family said he is going to get lots of extra love and treats and has a forever home with them.

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