Firefighters are raising money by selling t-shirts that feature an English bulldog named Tuff that they recently rescued from the icy waters of Lake Michigan.

The shirt that reads “Built Tuff” written above the image of Tuff will help the South Milwaukee Fire Department raise funds to purchase more water rescue equipment. The fund-raising effort will also benefit the K9’s for Warriors, an organization that provides service dogs to military veterans.


The Built Tuff t-shirt. Image from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The rescue of Tuff, a 12-year-old English bulldog who fell into icy Lake Michigan water last Jan. 31, attracted a lot of public interest that South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks thought it would be a nice theme for their fund-raising campaign.

Tuff’s rescue story went viral immediately. The post about it that appeared on the South Milwaukee Fire Department Facebook page received tens of thousands of comments and reactions not only from the United States but also from Ireland and Canada.

Among those comments came from a Marine who thanked the South Milwaukee Fire Department for saving the English Bulldog, the unofficial mascot of the Marine Corps.

That comment led the fire department to decide to allocate a quarter of the money to be raised to K9’s for Warriors.

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Tuff is shown in the vets office after being rescued by firemen in this photo by fox6now.


The shirts cost $20 apiece plus $5 for shipping and handling.

Tuff was chasing a stick when he fell in the icy lake near the South Milwaukee Yacht Club.

Bystanders tried to help by throwing him a rope to hold on to, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

It’s a good thing that the South Milwaukee Fire Department responded to calls for them to help rescue Tuff.

After being taken out of the water, Tuff was brought to the vet clinic.
The vet made sure that Tuff’s body was warmed up while being given fluids via an IV.

Fire Chief Joe Knitter observed that Tuff loved the attention caused by the incident.

Watch Tuff’s rescue story in the following YouTube video by RoseBud Channel:



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