After arriving on scene, San Rafael police Officer Travis Ruggles commandeered a nearby rowboat to paddle toward the dog aboard the 32-foot sailboat before it was engulfed in flames and sunk.
The burning live-aboard boat was pushed away from the dock to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby boats.
Police were called to assist San Rafael firefighters with the boat fire at 555 Francisco Blvd. East at about 5:25 a.m., San Rafael police Sgt. Lisa Holton said.
While firefighters battled the blaze, onlookers spotted the dog cowering at the edge of the deck as threatening flames approached, Holton said.
Ruggles used the rowboat to paddle toward the burning vessel. The dog was plucked from the sailboat and reunited with the owner, who had returned to the dock when he learned of the fire after leaving for work.
The estimated loss of the boat and possessions is about $50,000, said San Rafael Battalion Chief Matt Windrem. The cause of the fire was under investigation. No injuries were reported.