A beagle in Australia brought new meaning to the phrase “man’s best friend.”
The pup, who goes by the name Snoopy, saved the lives of his owners Bill Winter and his two adult children on Friday as a fire destroyed their two-story home near Brisbane.
The Australian family were asleep as the flames engulfed their house – their fire alarms failing to go off. Snoopy’s barking was able to wake the family up in time for everyone to escape the house safely.
“He barked and woke us up,” the 67-year-old owner told local affiliate 7 News Queensland. “We only just got out.”
Bill’s son Brian said the family “probably wouldn’t be here” if it weren’t for the dog.
While the Winter family did have smoke alarms in their home, their positioning in their home caused them not to go off.
“They did have operating smoke alarms, but because the fire was very intense downstairs there was little to no smoke actually in the upstairs area of the dwelling,” local fire station officer Owen George told 9 News.
The smoke alarms Bill had in the basement where the fire began had been taken down for cleaning, authorities said. Several refrigerators were also said to be in the area where the fire began – though no exact cause of the flames has been identified yet.
George said the dog had saved the family’s lives “without a doubt.”
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The Winter family were reportedly able to escape their home with just their clothes on their back. They owned the home for nearly 40 years, according to reports. All of their belongings, including their car and boat, were ruined in the fire. In December, Bill’s wife died from cancer. Her ashes were said to be inside the home, as Bill planned to scatter them on the first anniversary of her death.
“Bill bought this beagle for his wife before she lost her life,” 7 News pointed out. “It saved his.”
This isn’t the first time a dog has helped rescue its owners. Just last month, a 72-year-old woman survived 9 days in the Arizona wilderness with the help of rescue Queensland terrier mix dog, Queenie.