Puppy rescued while fleeing Diamond Fire up for adoption in Payson

Aug 12, 2023, 8:00 PM

Sunflower the rescued Pitbull mix is around 2 years and 11 months old, according to the Humane Society of Central Arizona. Her adoption fee is $100. (Arizona Humane Society Photo) dog fleeing Diamond Fire near Sunflower and Payson in ADOT car Sunflower has been spayed and neutered. She is a shy and submissive dog who loves affection and playing, according to her adoption biography. (Arizona Humane Society Photo) "I love playing with other dogs and it may be very possible to live peacefully with a cat," her Arizona Humane Society biography read. "Being around other dogs will also help build my confidence level." (Arizona Humane Society Photo)

PHOENIX — A puppy who ran towards ADOT crews while the Diamond Fire raged near State Route 87 in late July is officially up for adoption.

Crews from Payson were setting up traffic control to help firefighters control the blaze when they found the puppy fleeing the fire.

They dubbed her “Sunflower” in honor of the nearby town where they found her on July 26, ADOT said in a Thursday announcement.

The town of Sunflower is far north of Phoenix, near the Mazatzal Wilderness and west of Tonto National Forest. Although the town was previously a mercury-mining district, it’s now used as a hiking and camping destination.

Brett Rupp, an ADOT maintenance supervisor in Payson, tried to find her a home.

Puppy fleeing Diamond Fire didn’t have a home

“I called one of the residents in Sunflower to see if she knew who the owner was,” Rupp said in a statement.

When no one had any leads, he took matters into his own hands.

“I gave her a little water, loaded her up in the truck, gave her some cool AC and brought her to the Humane Society of Central Arizona in Payson,” he said.

She was in relatively good condition, despite an ear infection, some ticks and a road rash on her front right leg, ADOT said.

Nicole LeBeau, the Payson shelter’s medical director, said the puppy is thriving in her new home.

“Sunflower is doing great, considering the circumstances she has endured,” LeBeau said in a statement.

“She can be a little nervous at first, but we believe it’s from the kennel setting. Once she has warmed up to you, she will be glued to your side and become your shadow,” she said.

“She has a very sweet demeanor and absolutely loves treats,” LeBeau said. “Any attention quickly turns into a cuddle session.”

Anyone who wants to adopt the puppy can fill out an adoption application online.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

picture of end of roll of caution tape...

Tucson woman sentenced to 20 years after running woman over multiple times

Yvette Naomi Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday.

2 minutes ago

(Trevor's Liquor photo)...

Wills Rice

Trevor’s Liquor to open 4th location in late 2024 at Paradise Valley Mall

Trevor's Liquor announced it will be opening its fourth location in late 2024 in the Paradise Valley Mall redevelopment.

1 hour ago

Medical school students...

Brandon Gray

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces $11M investment in to state’s health care workforce

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Friday the state will invest $11 million into the Arizona Board of Regents' AZ Healthy Tomorrow Initiative. 

3 hours ago

Iraq War veteran Sgt. Brent Bretz was selected for a new home by the by the Helping a Hero Project....

Iraq War veteran injured in explosion gifted with an adapted home in Gilbert

Iraq War veteran who lost both of his legs in an explosion was given a new home in Gilbert through the Helping a Hero program.

4 hours ago

Booking photo of Eric Donald Jones and a stock image of a house on fire. Jones, a former Chandler f...

Former Chandler firefighter sentenced to 10.5 years for setting ex-girlfriend’s house on fire

A former Chandler firefighter was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison for setting an ex-girlfriend's house on fire two years ago.

6 hours ago

Graphic of cyber crime yellow tape. Pinal County, Arizona, schools confirmed their data processing ...

Ford Hatchett/ABC15 Arizona

Payroll issues: Ransomware attack impacts 21 Pinal County school districts

Pinal County schools confirmed their data processing service was attacked recently, putting paychecks in jeopardy for some employees.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

Puppy rescued while fleeing Diamond Fire up for adoption in Payson