Corbin Fire Department’s unofficial mascot, “Hemi,” who appeared to be on the road to recovery from an unexplained neurological issue, was euthanized Tuesday.
Firefighter Trevor Allen, Hemi’s owner, announced the decision Monday night.
Allen said while Hemi initially appeared to be getting better, he took her back to Bluegrass Animal Specialists in Lexington last Thursday when her health began to decline once again.
“They tried everything they could but several neurological issues developed along with the infection, and not able to eat or drink hindered Hemi from getting better,” Allen wrote on his Facebook.
Allen had initially taken Hemi to a local vet in on April 12 with the neurological issues that were causing her not to blink and her jaw to lock.
“She doesn’t move I when touch her nose which isn’t good,” Allen said previously.
On April 13, Allen made the decision to take Hemi to the specialist in Lexington where she was kept for several days while receiving medication, steroids and fluids. In addition, Hemi was placed in an Oxygen chamber.
Hemi came home and was back at the Corbin Fire Station when Allen went to work on April 19.
Allen and Hemi got together while he was working at the Laurel County Fire Department.
The department was exploring adding a search and rescue K9 program.
While the black lab mix had all of the traits needed to be successful at search and rescue, Allen explained she lacked discipline in certain areas.
When it got dark and the firefighters turned on their flashlights, Hemi forgot all about searching and rescuing and focused on chasing the flashlight beams.
“So she became part of the family and went on fire calls with us,” Allen said. “You didn’t dare sit in her seat. She was the captain. She also liked to howl along with the siren. I guess she didn’t think people could hear it and need to add to it.”
When Allen came on board at the Corbin Fire Department, Allen said Chief Barry McDonald allowed Hemi to come to the station as well. However, Hemi had to remain at the station when the tones dropped.
“Every time the tones drop she would run down the hall open the door and run to her crate every time,” Allen said.
Hemi quickly made friends with the other firefighters, and with members of the community that came to the station.
“Hemi is well known around the state of KY. She has many friends and is my very best friend,” Allen said on a Facebook post on the department’s “Shift 1” Facebook page.