Firefighter, Family Take In Dogs After Owner Dies

February 19, 2012 Updated Feb 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM EDT

By Allen Leight

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February 19, 2012 Updated Feb 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) - Pascal Scrufari lost his life earlier this week after he fell through the ice trying to rescue one of his dogs that wandered onto the ice at Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls.

Frank Cacciatore was one of the firefighters who responded to that call, and wanted to share a lesson with his son about the dangers of walking on thin ice.

"As we were going through the learning lesson...he immediately went to, 'what's going to happen to the dog?'," explained Cacciatore.

Scrufari's three golden retrievers were left without a home and were taken in by the Niagara SPCA, who wanted to make sure the three dogs stayed together. So it was again Frank Cacciatore to the rescue, who called and offered to adopt the trio and have them move in with his family, which included another golden named 'Lady'.

Brandy Scrufari, Niagara SPCA Board President, who also happens to be the cousin of the drowning victim Pascal Scrufari says he couldn't be happier with where the dogs ended up.

"We were really fortunate, not only to get a great family but a family whose father is a Niagara Falls firefighter who was actually on the call to rescue my cousin Pat Scrufari. So there's a lot of good with this adoption to this family," Scrufari said.

The Cacciatore's say the three new family members are adapting well to their new home. And for Frank's son Chris, who was worried all along about the dogs, he now has a new best friend.

"Yeah, Zack. He's kind of like my best man or something like that," explained Chris.