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Hydro the dog
Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, via Facebook

Members of the Sun Prairie Fire Department said goodbye to a four-legged friend this week.

In a Facebook post, the fire department commemorated their "unofficial mascot," Hydro, who had to be put down Sunday morning after being hit by a truck on Saturday.

Hydro was an 2-year-old Dalmation who belonged to the family of volunteer firefighter Matthew Scovill, a 9-year veteran firefighter who has been with the Sun Prairie Fire Department for three years.

Scovill's wife, Chelsea Scovill, bought Hydro from a litter at Oak Creek Dalmatians as a surprise birthday present for him just over two years ago, Matthew Scovill said in an interview.

Hydro almost immediately became part of the larger Sun Prairie Fire Department family, Scovill said, and was a fixture at the department's public education events and at summer parades.

"He was very good with children and we were training him as a therapy dog to attend burn centers for ... injured youth to brighten their day and help them feel better," Scovill said.

Hydro was true to his love of children till the end. He was hit by a truck when he tried to cross the street to visit a child while off leash in front of the family home on Saturday, Scovill said.

The family rushed him to an emergency veterinary clinic, where it was determined he had suffered a spinal injury. The family made the decision to put him down the next morning, he said.

"Hydro will be deeply missed by our family and the community," Scovill said.


Nick Heynen is the online editor for the Wisconsin State Journal and manages the newspaper's social media accounts. A Maryland native transplanted to Wisconsin, he joined the paper in 2007 as data reporter.