Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Service Dog Saved Woman, But Died Rescuing Cat
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 18, 2006

SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN--Sunday night, Jamie Hanson lost her 100-year-old home, a cat, and her service dog, Jesse.

She does have her life, thanks to Jesse, her 13-year-old Labrador retriever and German shepherd mix.

Hanson, 49, told reporters at a tearful news conference Monday that she was watching TV when one of her cats jumped onto a table and knocked over a candle, which set some artificial plants on fire.

That's when Jesse brought Hanson the prosthetic leg she has worn since a car accident three years ago, and a phone to call 9-1-1. When the leg proved too hot to touch, Jesse started pulling Hanson by the pajamas toward the door.

Once Hanson was outside, Jesse ran back inside, apparently to rescue a cat.

That was the last she saw of the dog and that cat. The cat that inadvertently started the fire was found, alive, in the basement of the house, which was totally destroyed.

"She kind of took over as my caretaker," Hanson said of Jesse. "She would bring me drinks out of the refrigerator or a snack if I needed it. When I went to take a bath, she always brought the phone in and sat by the bathtub with me in case I fell."

Hanson was released from a local hospital after being treated for burns to her face and arm.

"Heroic dog saves woman" (Sheboygan Press)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.