LADSON, S.C. (WCBD) – A puppy rescued from a burning shed in Ladson at only three weeks old has been named a semifinalist for America’s highest canine honor.

The dog, named Jake, is among 21 dogs that were selected to compete in the 2022 American Humane Dog Hero Awards after being narrowed down from a pool of nearly 400 candidates.

Jake’s owner is a Lowcountry firefighter who rescued Jake from a burning shed. The pup survived conditions that most could not, according to his owner. More than 75% of Jake’s body, along with all his paws, were burned. The firefighter saved him again after learning that Jake’s original family abandoned him at the veterinarians office.

“Jake was coming to work with me at the station while he recovered, and everyone fell in love with him,” the owner said.

Jake was even sworn in as an honorary firefighter and made an official mascot for the agency. He’s visited schools, rode on firetrucks to calls and lounged around the station.

The dog has since retired but still advocates for what his owner referred to as a “bully breed.”

“Jake is proof that just because you had a rough beginning or have scars you are not bad or damaged,” the owner said. “Jake has taken everything that life could throw at him and has handled it with ease, broken barriers and brought light to his breed and just how loving and loyal his breed is. This is why I feel Jake deserves to be the next American Hero Dog.”

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards is an annual, nationwide competition that searches for and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs.

The second round of voting is currently open to the public to establish the seven finalists who will go on to compete in this year’s competition.

Voting for the second round concludes on July 22. The third and final round will open from Aug. 5 through Sept. 13.

Click here to cast your vote.