The day the Colorado Springs Fire Department received a distress call, they immediately rushed out to tend the mission at hand. When they arrived on the scene of the SOS call, they understood that it was just another puppy rescue operation. After pulling out the 8 puppies from the sewer, a reality-check came over them. These little creatures were not puppies at all…
When we think of firefighters, we always picture them running into a burning house or building. However, they have a number of other jobs too. Other than just helping humans in need, they aid animals in despair too, and not just those kittens that get stuck in trees.
Not Just Fires
Fire is obviously their first call to action, but a collection of other situations requires the expertise of the firefighting community. These responsibilities range from providing medical care, inspecting the fire-proofing of new buildings, as well as taking care of hazardous materials, to name a few.
Since most of their job requires speed due to risky situations, the Colorado Springs Fire Department has a big team of emergency responders across the city. The reason for this is to ensure that they can respond to numerous emergencies at the same time with a speedy response. They boast being able to reach anywhere within 8 minutes, 90% of the time.
Seeing as fire can break out in numerous places at once, and each site can be a different kind of blaze, CSFD has accumulated an assortment of different vehicles in order to tackle different scenarios. They currently have 22 engine companies, 6 truck companies, 1 hazmat team, 1 HeavyHazmate team, as well as 3 medical squads. Additionally, they have 11 brush trucks for wildland fires, 1 air supply truck, 1 hazardous-materials decontamination vehicle, and 1 hose wagon.
Just A Normal Day
That unforgettable day, started like any other at the Colorado Spring Fire Department station. Everything seemed to be going as it usually did. Check-ups were done, coffee was made, reports filed and engines inspected. However, little did the staff know that their day was going to take a peculiar turn.
Then the mundaneness of the day was broken by a call. Still nothing unusual. After processing the details, the dispatcher passed on the information to the firefighters in the station. It was an animal rescue call, one that shouldn’t have been complicated. That was at least the feeling in the station at that time.
Any experienced animal rescuer will tell you that no matter how much you want to help an animal in distress, you have to take certain precautions. When an animal feels scared or endangered, they can often behave acutely. While some might be frightening and cower in the corner, others can become aggressive and attack their would-be rescuers. Because of this, firefighters have a set of rules to abide by in order to ensure mutual safety.
When responding to an animal rescue situation, it is imperative to be ready for anything. Since firefighters don’t only rescue cats and dogs, they have to be prepared to work with undomesticated animals like bears, chickens, and even in some very rare occasions, wild cats.
On this particular day though there wasn’t much to worry about. A litter of young puppies is hardly worth breaking a sweat over. The team headed out in their gear towards the truck and made their way to the site of the young canines.
It didn’t take them long to arrive. They immediately jumped out of the firetruck and made their way to the scene. There, trapped deep underneath a storm grate, the puppies were huddled together. It didn’t seem like a complicated scenario at first glance. However, if rain were to fall, the puppies would find themselves in danger of drowning.
The Clock Is Ticking
After taking a few more minutes to assess what they saw in front of them, the firefighters drew some conclusions. Even if rain would not fall, the little animals still faced danger since they were stuck in a dark hole that was cold. The clock started ticking…
The firemen concluded that the animals were very small and had no chance of freeing themselves from the sewer. The sewer itself wasn’t too deep for the team to be able to reach them. They discussed the options and concluded that one or two personnel could extract the animals.
The storm grate was quite heavy, so together they removed it to give them their first look at the trapped animals. This was the first time that they actually got to see them as well as hear them. It was at that point that they realized just how young the babies were.
The firefighters couldn’t figure out how they managed to get there. To pique their curiosity even further, they began to wonder where the mother of these squealing babies was. There were many questions they wanted answers to, but they had a mission to complete first.
Despite not being able to see a mother or a father in the vicinity, they knew that they had to be cautious. Some animals will abandon their young when humans come into contact with them, but others can become vicious and attack in defense of their young. However, the signs pointed at abandonment.
A Difficult Situation
When the team got clear sight of the puppies, they were in real awe that they had managed to survive until that point. The sewer covered in dirt and garbage, and to make matters worse, due to lack of sunlight, the underground was freezing cold. Regardless of what they saw, they knew that they needed to try as hard as they could to save these little babies.
The lives of the puppies were clearly in danger, and they needed to jump into action. If the mother had left them for good then there was nothing to worry about, but if she had gone and planned to come back she might be shocked to see that they were no longer there.
It became apparent to the rescue squad that the little animals they were looking at weren’t regular puppies. This made the hair on their necks stick up as they started to wonder what kind of animal might be coming back to check on her young. There was a difficult decision that someone needed to make.
The options that stood in front of them were clear, but not as easy at all. They could either leave the puppies where they were, hoping that the mother would come back to get them, or they could rescue them and assume the mother would not be back. Either way, the babies were trapped.
They still weren’t sure what kind of animals were stuck in the sewer, but they decided to go ahead and take them out. If they would “contaminate” them with their human touch, then it would be a decision that would have to live with.
The first precaution that the firefighters took was wearing gloves. The reason for this was to avoid getting their scent on the puppies. After extracting the babies from the sewer, they would put them on a sheet that they had spread out next to the hole.
Cautiously, one of the firefighters put his hand into the sewer to rescue the first of the lot. The tiny size of the animal actually surprised everyone. After placing him on the sheet, the minute puppy moved about freely.
Man’s Best Friend
It took them a moment to realize that they weren’t just looking at a puppy, they were looking at a very young puppy! The mystery of how they got into this sewer was still not solved, but there was no time to wonder. There were still more puppies underground.
One rumor that started to make its way around the group was that someone must have dumped the puppies there. Sad as it may be, it’s not uncommon for people to dump puppies into dumpsters or on the side of the road. Leaving them in the storm drain wouldn’t be such a far-fetched idea.
Cold Hard Truths
It was an unfortunate thought to have, but it wasn’t impossible to imagine someone leaving them there to free themselves of the responsibility. The heartbreaking thought only encouraged the firemen to work harder and faster in getting them out of the hole.
This particular situation can serve as a lesson for all pet owners. Someone might believe that abandoning pets of all ages on the side of the road or elsewhere is the “easy way out”. While this might be the case for the owner, it is the exact opposite for the abandoned animal. The rescuers hoped this was not a “drop and run” case.
It was hard to tell exactly how many of these little puppies there were. Thankfully, the drain wasn’t too deep so all of them were easily located and removed from their cold hole. The firefighters wasted no time in doing their job.
They were so small that the rescuers could almost fit them all in their hands at once. Of course, the entire ordeal was somewhat confusing for the puppies. Moments before they had been stuck in a cold dark place, and the next moment they were out in the light and surrounded by people.
At that point, the team on the scene started to investigate what had happened there. There were a number of witnesses who came forward to give whatever information they could about the situation. One woman recalled that she had seen the puppies being swept away during a storm.
A Sigh of Relief
The first thought that ran across the firemen’s minds was that someone had not abandoned them there. What a relief! Now that clearer information had been provided, they knew that the puppies were simply pulled away by rain and a current. After that, they simply slipped inside the sewer.
Quick To Act
The eyewitness told the firefighters that she had tried to run after the puppies as they were being swept away, but she couldn’t reach them in time. Once they had been sucked into the sewer she was left without a choice but to try to pry it open. Of course, she was unable to without the right utensils.
Calling in for Help
Being concerned and thoughtful as she was, she quickly pulled out her phone. She wasn’t sure who to call, but she made a decision to call the fire department, and what a good decision it was. The firemen who arrived had all the equipment and the expertise to take care of the situation.
One To Remember
The rescuers applauded the woman for her fast thinking and thoughtfulness. They said that they wished there were more people like her – people who wouldn’t stop until they knew that animals in danger were safe and sound.
The next job was to figure out what kind of dog they were looking at. Based on their appearances – dark, black, short-haired with wiry hair – they figured that they were looking at a litter of labradors. Little did they know that they were about to be proven very wrong.
The first stop for the puppies and the firefighters was the Humane Society in the area. Their greatest concern was their safety, of course. Who knew if they were sick, weak, undernourished or even on the verge of death. Time was of the essence.
After taking a look at the little pups, there was a response. They were all in stable and healthy condition. Not just that, they were all strong and sufficiently fed.It was at this point that the firefighters realized that their work had been completed.
Based on concern and a little bit of curiosity, one fireman, Mark Jenkins, handed his phone number over to the doctors. He instructed them to inform him of their progress. It wouldn’t be long before his phone was ringing from the care center.
Mark fumbled for his phone when he saw the vet’s phone number pop up on his screen. The vet told him that he had nothing to worry about and that the puppies were doing really well. But then the vet mentioned something that took Mark completely by surprise.
Mark pressed his cellphone to his ear to make sure that he was hearing what the vet was saying. The vet repeated himself to make sure that Mark was hearing the words coming out of his mouth. The vet said that the puppies they had brought in weren’t actually dogs. Mark didn’t know what that meant. What could they be if they weren’t dogs?
Mark listened attentively as the vet produced the words, “red foxes”. He was stunned. Everyone was certain that they were looking at a litter of puppies, not a small troop of foxes! It confused Mark even further since they were not red at all. However, at birth, they tend to be a darker shade.
Doing Something Good
After hanging up, Mark headed to the rest of his crew. He couldn’t wait to tell them the bizarre news he had just heard. They were just as shocked as he had been – everyone was under the impression that they were just regular dog puppies.
There was, however, a twist to the story. The vet said that there was a great chance that the mother was still in the area, perhaps even looking for her babies. The suggestion was to put them back where they had been found fast enough that the mother wouldn’t lose hope of finding them.
Worth A Try
It felt unnatural for the firemen to be putting the cubs back into the drain from which they had been rescued. Nevertheless, it was important for their mother to have the opportunity to find them and take them back. Although this time the firemen would be watching over them.
After they had replaced all the cubs back in the hole, the rescuers had to wait patiently nearby. The last thing they wanted was the mother to get spooked. A little distance and no interference would do the trick. The vet had explained that she might be waiting until it was dark to come back for her babies.
The Red Fox
Red foxes are known to be very intelligent animals. They will often spend the whole day inside their dens before coming out after nightfall. Things didn’t turn out as they had wished. The mother didn’t come back, and as they were approaching the morning they were praying that she would make an appearance.
Western European Fox
Red foxes are actually native to Western Europe, and they are the only kind that are. The Arctic fox comes from Scandinavia whereas the corsac’s fox originates from European Russia. Red foxes are not like other foxes as they are the largest of all true foxes.
A lot of time had passed already and yet there was no sign of their mother. The cubs cried for her from the hole, but still, there was nothing. Everyone started to wonder if perhaps the mother fox had seen everything and she was spooked.
It took a few nights of waiting out to see if their mother would come back for them to decide that it was probably a lost cause. It was heartbreaking to understand that she would never be reunited with her pups. They needed to be taken care of.
The Next Move
Everyone’s minds were made up – the mother was not coming back. They promptly retrieved the cubs for the second time, and back they went to the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park. Being familiar with the story, the clinic wanted to help out as best they could.
This specific clinic specializes in the rehabilitation of all sorts of animals. What they would do for this litter of baby foxes was nurse them until they were strong and capable of being independent. For now, they would be taken care of, but this wasn’t the end of the line for them.
This unique story about these rescued foxes might seem somewhat amusing, but there is something we can all learn something valuable. The firemen found out that there were some things they didn’t know about dealing with wild animals in need of rescue.
Although the firefighters were somewhat taken aback by their unique discovery, animal experts say that this wasn’t such a rare occurrence. According to their opinion, the mother of the foxes must have mated only a few months earlier in the same region.
Some might think that the appearance of foxes in Colorado is out of the ordinary, but it is not. Colorado is actually well-known for its thriving fox population. The terrain this state offers – mountains and hills – provides the best places for foxes to create dens and other comfortable living areas.
Wildlife In Colorado
Foxes are n’t the only species of wildlife you’ll find in Colorado. The wildlife there is bustling with snakes, bears, coyotes, deer, and even mountain lions! Hikers frequently encounter these animals, but less so the more dangerous ones. Although they might look tame, it’s best to leave wild animals alone.
Dark And Cool
If foxes like to create a dwelling place for themselves in a den, then why would the fox mother put her babies in a sewer grate? Well, the experts believe that the mother saw this location as a sort of replica of a den that would offer her cubs darkness and cool temperatures.
The mother fox might have made a mistake by leaving her babies behind while picking her den. Despite the fact that the sewer was dark and cool, its similarities to typical fox dens weren’t enough to make it a good place for the cubs to be.
Place Of Birth
Slowly, the people involved in the fox rescue were beginning to piece together the puzzle of the missing mother fox and her abandoned babies. A theory that arose was that the mother actually gave birth to her young INSIDE the sewer grate!
While some might feel the need to feel sorry for these abandoned babies, there is a sliver of happiness that we can all feel. These little cubs might have been left to fend for themselves, but they were now being given rehabilitation treatment that they might never have received otherwise.
At first, the firefighters were quite surprised to find these foxes in the middle of a busy city. After all, you’d expect wild animals to be found in the wild, and not downtown. However, it is important to realize that many wild areas have been overrun by buildings.
In order to prevent certain kinds of wildlife encounters, experts advise people to follow some basic instructions. The first is not to feed wild animals, no matter how hungry they may appear to be. Pet food shouldn’t be left outdoors. One should also ensure that any holes bigger than a quarter of an inch be filled with cement or something else that will prevent animals from entering.
Since animals’ natural habitats are regularly becoming overrun by the construction of homes and buildings, animals wander into what we now call human areas. These animals not only roam there now, but they are beginning to become somewhat comfortable there too which is dangerous to both us and to them.
The woman who made the first call for help when she noticed the cubs being swept away, did the right thing. She realized that the situation was too difficult to take care of alone, and so she called for expert help. Many animals are better off without the intervention of humans.
Not All Bad
Our first assumption on many occasions is that the animal babies left alone must be in trouble. This is inaccurate most of the time, as many parents in the animal kingdom leave their young for periods of time of up to 23 hours in order to look for food.
This story of ours gets a happy ending though. Since the first call to the fire department, to this very moment, these cubs have been under the watchful eyes of those who care. While they’re still being brought up, they will one day return to their natural habitat.
Keeping An Eye Out
With the constant growth and expansion of cities and towns, it is likely that encounters like this will become more common. If you are to come in contact with an animal that seems to be in distress, rather call for help before taking matters into your own hands. Who knows, you might save the poor animal’s life.
Anyone In Need
We’ve described the firefighters in this story as heroes who went farther than necessary to save some animals’ lives. And although we’ve discovered that they took care of these foxes as if they were dog puppies as they thought, we can learn that firefighters will do whatever it takes to rescue any animal. Just take a look at these heartwarming pictures!
Moments Like This…
It’s moments like this that you can see just how much saving an animal’s life can mean to a person, as well as to other animals. Aside from the rescued cat, look at how concerned this black labrador was.
In The Arms Of An Angel
Just look at that face! These oxygen masks were designed for humans, but oftentimes they are given to animals that have suffered from smoke inhalation. You can so clearly see that this cat feels as if she was just saved by an angel. Maybe she was.
Breathing New Life
Do you know what we can all learn from firefighters? 100% dedication to their cause. When it comes to saving lives, they are adamant to give their all to ensure that they save as many lives as possible. It doesn’t matter whose life is in danger, and we can see that from this fireman giving mouth-to-mouth to a suffering dog.
Even In The Water
There’s no place rescue workers would not go to in order to save someone in desperate need. When this drowning dog thought that his chances of survival were about to become none, he was rescued by a team of dedicated rescue workers who were not ready to see him go down.
Animals might not have the words that we do, but they have all the heart when they want to tell us something. This rescued dog wasn’t shy in showing her eternal gratitude to the man who saved her life. She will remember him forever, and he will remember her too.
They say “it’s not over until it’s over,” but this cat already feels safe in the arms of this brave fireman. There were probably a good few rungs of the ladder to still descend from, but the cat was no longer in danger of the raging fire.
They say that all dogs go to heaven, and while we’re sure that that’s true, these firefighters were not about to let that day come just yet. This old dog might have thought that his days were up, but this team proved him wrong. Look at that smile.
Whoever Needs Help
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog or a fox, a cat or a goat – you can even be a duck for all they care. If you’re in need of help, the fire department is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that you’re not in harm’s way.
Cats are supposed to have nine lives, but this fireman was not going to let this little kitten lose one of them on his watch. What you’re seeing is the young face of appreciation. Who do you suppose was happier at this exact moment? It’s hard to tell.
When a fire tears apart a home, the trauma that is felt by the residents is also shared by its furry inhabitants. This cat’s face says it all. While he might be safe in the arms of this brave firewoman, he’s still a witness to the destruction of his home.
A Second Chance
The Clark County Fire Department in Nevada responded to a house fire, but they didn’t think they would have to be searching for trapped kittens in the devastating inferno. Nevertheless, when they discovered that a kitten was stuck inside, they did whatever they could to get him out.
In Safe Hands
Here’s all the evidence you need to realize just how tough a firefighter’s job really is. Both the cat and the fireman look like they’ve been through a heck of a lot on this day. But all’s well that ends well, wouldn’t you say?
You might think that getting animals out of a burning structure is the primary task of firefighters when it comes to animals. On many occasions, animals are trapped in rubble following a fire, or even after natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
A Real Bond
When this woman received her cat in her arms, she was overwhelmed with emotion. When a devastating fire breaks out, it’s hard to know if animals are stuck in the burning site or not. Sometimes pet owners can become frantic about a cat, even though their beloved pet might not be in the house at all.
The cat in this picture looks to be quite content in the arms of his rescuer. The rescuer, on the other hand, is clearly battling exhaustion. But at the same time, we can see just how relieved he is for having pulled off this daring rescue.
It Takes A Team
When they say that “there’s no ‘I’ in team,” just think of this picture. Beautifully encompassing this ethos, we can see a full team of firefighters ensuring the safety and wellbeing of this rescued dog.
Whatever It Takes
It doesn’t matter how exhausted a firefighter is, they will put every last bit of strength and energy into rescuing anyone. This Assistant Chief sets a sterling example of what it means to put all ahead of yourself.