Woman abandons dogs to flee wildfire, returns home a month later | Facebook/K9PawPrintRescue
Source: Woman abandons dogs to flee wildfire, returns home a month later | Facebook/K9PawPrintRescue

Woman Escapes Wildfire by Abandoning Her Dogs, Months Later Returns to Her Home's Wreckage

Rita Kumar
Feb 05, 2022
04:00 P.M.
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A woman flees a wildfire, leaving her two dogs behind. A month later, she returns to the burned-down site and breaks down after witnessing an emotional sight. 


Dogs’ loyalty to their beloved masters and homes are stories of legend, and the astonishing sight one owner returned home to after California’s devastating Camp Fire in 2018 is heartwarming proof.

Andrea Gaylord of Paradise, the fateful town that succumbed to the blaze, was among those residents who fled when the fire broke out on November 8. While leaving, she feared she’d lost her dear and precious two dogs—brothers Madison and Miguel.

Woman who abandons dogs to escape wildfire returns home a month later | Source: Facebook/K9PawPrintRescue


As Gaylord hurried to escape the fire, she called the two pups. But since the dogs weren’t domesticated, they refused to get into the car. 

She assumed her dogs would survive the catastrophic fire and, bearing this thought in mind, hurried to safety. However, the fate of her pups remained unknown for over a month. 

The mom had never felt so beaten and couldn’t get over the ill-feeling of what could’ve happened to her dogs. She lost hope when almost a month had passed, and the area was closed for evacuees. 

The dogs refused to get into the vehicle | Source: YouTube/ABC10


Gaylord felt miserable as she had yet to be reunited with her pups. Since the area was shut down, the mom couldn’t return home and search for them.

“You’re the best dog,” an emotional Gaylord said as she cried on Sullivan’s shoulders.

Meanwhile, days after the fire was put out, Shayla Sullivan, an animal rescue volunteer, was one of the few people allowed into the lost town of Paradise to hunt for the lost pets. 

The area was shut down after evacuation | Source: YouTube/Inside Edition


A glimmer of hope came when one of the animal rescue workers found Miguel. However, Sullivan kept the search operation on to track Madison, who was still missing.

Hoping Madison would be around somewhere, Sullivan left food and water near the charred ruins of Gaylord's house. As an added effort, she rubbed her clothes on Miguel and tossed them at the site, hoping his scent would lure Madison back home.

After a month, the evacuation orders were lifted. Gaylord was allowed to return to her property on December 6 with Sullivan and Miguel, who was brought back from an animal shelter 70 miles away. 

Gaylord returned to her property after a month | Source: YouTube/ABC10


As she pulled over near the ruined remains of her property, she witnessed an astonishing sight—there was Madison, waiting to see his mom near the rubble of their burned-down house.

Madison’s survival story was quite different. While everyone fled the Camp Fire, he stayed behind to protect his home. Gaylord had a feeling her pup survived but wasn’t sure yet until she saw him there.

Gaylord spotted Madison guarding their burned-down house | Source: YouTube/ABC10


The mom was delighted to see her beloved pup had survived the fire and was patiently awaiting her return. Miguel and Madison greeted each other as their mom and Sullivan watched in awe. 

“You’re the best dog,” an emotional Gaylord said as she cried on Sullivan’s shoulders. She then approached Madison to toss his favorite treat—a box of Wheat Thin crackers.

She gives Madison his favorite treat | Source: YouTube/ABC10


The mom was overcome with joy to reunite with her dogs. Opening up about her emotions in an interview, she recounted:

“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting...It was so emotional.”

Gaylord lost everything in the Camp Fire, but with the help of a few strangers, particularly rescuers like Sullivan, her family is now reunited and happy! 

If you liked this story, here’s another touching story of a dog who saves her mom’s life & refuses to leave her side while doctors fight to save the woman’s life.

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