Woman credits newly adopted dog for saving her life, alerting her to house fire

Sara Pelchat just adopted the dog on Nov. 1

LAKELAND, Fla. - Sara Pelchat can't thank her dog enough for possibly saving her life last week after a fire broke out in the kitchen.

Pelchat was apparently in a deep sleep when her dog, Brinleigh jumped up and started licking her face.

She just adopted Brinleigh from SPCA Florida on November 1.

Pelchat ignored the dog's licks, but Brinleigh didn't give up.

"The longer I laid in bed, the more frantic she became," Pelchat said.

"She was pulling on my shirt and digging on me and just really trying to get my attention."

Finally, she awoke to her home filling with thick black smoke.

"If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have woken up.  And then Lord knows what would have happened," she said.

It turns out she and her boyfriend left a plastic container on their stove top.  They're not sure how, but they believe one of the burners turned on and started the fire.

The smoke alarm went off, but Pelchat never heard it.

Her other pets ran away from the danger through their doggy door, except for Brinleigh.

"It gives you a different aspect on how dogs must think," she said.

A week before the fire, Pelchat and her boyfriend went to the SPCA looking for a new addition to their family.

Kennel worker Bill Nolen suggested they try Brinleigh, and they immediately fell in love.

"I'd like to take credit for that, but I'll give that all to her, how's that?" Nolen said.

"Everyday I ask myself why I'm doing this, and I see these eyes in the kennel and that's why I do it. When we get stories like hers, that just makes a bonus."

Pelchat stopped by the shelter Tuesday to personally thank Nolen.

"This was very special. I'm glad nobody was hurt," he said.

Thanks to Brinleigh's persistence, the damage to the house was limited to some minor smoke damage.

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