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Therapy dog works his way into the hearts of firefighters

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NORTH LAWRENCE, Ohio-- Abandoned, emaciated and nearly frozen to death, one lucky dog not only has a new home, he has a career helping local heroes.

"He was about 35 to 40 pounds when we got him. He had frostbite on his paws, on his legs , on his belly and undercarriage," said Heidi Knight, a firefighter and EMT at North Lawrence Fire Department.

The sweet nature of the pup named Halligan made the decision to keep him easy. North Lawrence firefighters say they've never had a therapy dog but Halligan is filling the role perfectly.

As far as they know he's the only full-time therapy dog living at a fire station in northeast or northwest Ohio.

"This is the tool he's named after: the Halligan tool," said firefighter Elliot Lee as he showed equipment to Fox 8. "It's a forcible entry tool to break down doors just like he did for us."

Halligan forced his way into the hearts of firefighters in December 2016, all while helping to relieve the enormous weight of responding to life and death emergencies daily.

"He has increased our morale tenfold," said Lee. "We have seen a major increase of people coming down here when you're not even working."

Halligan proves that sometimes even our heroes can use a little extra love.