By Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator
At 3:15 a.m. on January 30, 1946, a fire swept through an apartment building at 107 College Avenue in Elmira. Peggy, a 4 ½-month-old collie puppy, woke her owner, Mrs. Davitt, when smoke began to fill their apartment. Mr. Davitt called the fire department and rushed to alert the other tenants. He carried Peggy under his arm through the smoke to safety. Because of Peggy, all nine people in the building escaped and the firefighters were able to contain the blaze.
Peggy was treated for minor injuries at the Blostein Animal Hospital at 2046 Lake Street. A photograph of her and her doctors was taken by the press. Peggy was praised as a heroine in the local newspaper.
|Press photo of Peggy receiving treatment at the veterinarian's office
Sadly, the next week, on February 4, Peggy was hit by a car and died. She had been staying with her displaced family in the Town of Veteran. The Elmira Star-Gazette said she was a “victim of another form of danger which she was too young to understand.” The Davitts didn’t blame the driver for the accident and recalled their brief time with her fondly. They had purchased her immediately after seeing her in a store window.
The 4 ½-month-old puppy was buried with some of her beloved toys on a hill near Sullivanville. The Davitts wanted to have a plot of land around her grave deeded in Peggy’s name, but this likely never happened.