Everyday is a new adventure for firefighters. They can go from putting out fires and saving families to getting kittens out of trees. These firefighters spent the day saving a litter of what they thought were puppies.
You need a certain set of skills to be a successful firefighter. Bravery and compassion are two traits someone needs to be one. When going through training, they are taught more skills than just putting out fires. However, firefighters do much more than just put out fires.
The firefighters of Colorado Springs, Colorado were going about their normal day waiting for a call at the station. They had no idea what their day was going to turn into.
A phone call came in on this ordinary day. Someone had called asking for help rescuing some animals that were in trouble. The team jumped to the rescue and loaded into the truck.
Firefighters have to follow certain protocols when it comes to rescuing animals. Since animals are unpredictable, firefighters need to take extra precautions.
Firefighters always have to keep themselves safe first. As the team traveled to the rescue site, they had no idea what type of animal they had to help today.
This particular team had a lot of experience in helping animals. They were confident that they could handle any situation that was thrown at them.
Examining the Scene
When the team arrived at the scene, they discovered there were some animals trapped in a storm grate. Since it was March, there wasn’t much rain, which was good for the trapped animals. However, if it did rain, they would be in some trouble.
While it wasn’t currently raining, the firefighters still had a time sensitive case here. If the animals didn’t know how to swim, then they would be in danger if it did start raining.
The firefighters determined that the animals were quite small if they were able to fit down the storm grate. So, they decided that one or two of the firefighters would go down and pull the animals out to safety.
The firefighters were able to remove the storm drain cover and get a look at what type of animal was stuck. They soon realized that it wasn’t just one animal, but a whole litter!
How did this litter of baby animals end up in a storm drain? It was probably because the animals were in need of resources to survive and ended up looking in the storm drain.
The firefighters had to take precaution and look to see if the parents of the baby animals were wandering around the scene. They didn’t want to scare them away or make them angry that they were touching the babies.
The rescue team was surprised that the animals were still alive. The storm drain had some water in it along with trash and dirt. There was no food for the babies down there and they were freezing. It’s a wonder how they survived down there for so long.
The firefighters had a sensitive case on their hands. If the mother of the babies was around trying to save her babies, then she would want to be the one to get them out. However, if the firefighters touched the babies, the mother may abandon them.
The firefighters kept looking for the mother before making a decision on how to rescue the animals. If they were cats or dogs that were stuck, then the mother would most likely be nearby. However, if the animals were wild, then the mother was probably further away.
The firefighters had to make a decision. They decided to save the babies to make sure that all of them survived. However, they still didn’t know what kind of animal they were saving.
Type of Animal
Their protocol depended on what type of animal they were dealing with. If the animals were wild and could survive on their own, the firefighters would handle the situation differently as opposed to a dog or cat.
One of the firefighters put on gloves and reached down into the storm drain to lift the baby animals out. They set the rescued babies on a sheet.
Once the first baby was rescued, they were able to tell what kind of animal they were saving. It wasn’t a mystery anymore thanks to its long snout and tail.
The firefighters were working hard to save a litter of black puppies. They still weren’t sure how the puppies got into the sewer though.
The firefighters kept thinking about how the puppies got into the storm drain. They realized that someone may have put them there. They had seen many types of animal abuse in their job.
The puppies were helpless down in that storm drain. No matter how they got there, it was the firefighters’ responsibility to get them out safely.
While some people leave their pets stranded when they don’t want them anymore, firefighters want you to know that there are safer and better options. There are many shelters that will take unwanted pets. Never leave your pet abandoned and helpless.
Number of Puppies
It wasn’t clear how many puppies were stuck in the storm drain. They wouldn’t know until they were all out. It ended up being eight helpless pups in the storm drain.
Surely the puppies were confused as to what was going on. They were probably very scared too. When placed on the sheet, the pups huddled together to try to warm up.
The firefighters were determined to find out what happened to the puppies. They spoke to a witness who explained that heavy rains swept the litter down the storm drain.
They were relieved to hear that the puppies didn’t end up in the drain from abandonment or cruel intentions. It was simply nature.
Trying to Help
When their witness saw the puppies being swept away, she chased after them to try and save them. She had to wait until the rain stopped, but listened for the puppies. She even tried to open up the storm drain.
She decided to call for help when she realized she couldn’t save the puppies on her own. That’s where the Colorado Springs Fire Department comes in.
Setting a Good Example
This woman was a prime example of what a good citizen is. She saw someone who was in trouble and alerted professionals for help. This resulted in all of the puppies getting out safely.
Guessing the Breed
Since the puppies were still very young, it was hard to distinguish which breed of dog they were. So, the firefighters started playing guessing games. They agreed that the pups were Labradors.
Now that the firefighters had completed their rescue mission, the puppies were brought to the Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region to be examined and nursed back to health if needed.
The vet cleared the puppies. None of them were sick or injured from their entrapment. The rescue team had done a fantastic job! Now it was time to find the puppies a permanent home.
One of the firefighters, Mark Jenkins, left his number with the Human Society so they could call him with any updates on the puppies. He didn’t expect to hear from them so quickly though!
The vet called with some pretty surprising news about the animals that the firefighters had rescued that day.
Remember when the firefighters guessed that the puppies were Labradors? The vet told them that they guessed wrong. Very wrong.
The animals that the firefighters rescued that day were actually foxes! They weren’t puppies at all. The vet explained to the firefighters that foxes are born with black fur and later turns into a reddish color.
The rest of the team was shocked to find out that they had rescued foxes instead of puppies. It didn’t change how happy they were though.
Since the animals weren’t puppies like they previously believed, the vet informed the firefighters that they must put the foxes back in the sewer. If the mother was still around and looking for them, she would eventually find them in the sewer.
The team was a little disappointed. They felt like they were working backwards putting the litter back where they saved them from. They didn’t just leave the babies in the sewer, though. They made sure to keep an eye on them so they could help them if needed.
The team had to be patient waiting for the mother to find her cubs. There was a chance that she would never return to the site though. They just had to wait and see.
Red foxes are cunning and can adapt to almost anything. They are nocturnal creatures, which is why the team waiting throughout the night for the mother to return. Some foxes do come out during the day, but they stay close to their dens.
The mother didn’t show up that night. The firefighters still had hope though. They thought that she may have been scared off when the team was rescuing her babies. They also predicted that she may have been injured.
It was difficult to listen to the baby foxes stuck in the sewer. They lost patience and rescued the cubs for a second time.
Once the foxes were rescued for a second time, they were brought to the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park. The clinic would rehabilitate the foxes and ensure that they could survive in the wild.
When someone drops off an animal to the clinic, they give lessons on how to raise wild animals. As for the foxes, the clinic would introduce them to other foxes and teach them how to survive in the wild.
Foxes were a new animal for the firefighters. They had never rescued foxes before this. While foxes look very cute, they can also be very dangerous if approached in the wild.
While it was shocking for the firefighters to find baby foxes, animal experts were shocked at all. Mating season for foxes typically takes place during the winter. Foxes are only pregnant for six to eight weeks, so it makes sense that the babies were born in March.
It also isn’t strange to find foxes in Colorado. There is a very large fox population in the state. They frequent hills, mountains, and the woods.
Some experts say that it may have been the mother who put the litter down in the storm drain thinking it was a safe place for her young or a den.
No mother is perfect. If she did put the litter down in the storm drain, it was probably with good intention. She may have thought it was a good den since it was dark and a cool place.
Another theory that animal experts offered as to how the babies got into the storm drain is that the mother gave birth down there.
While the baby foxes were abandoned, they still had a bright future thanks to the firefighters and animal experts who were teaching them how to survive in the wild.
While it may be strange to see a fox in the busy streets of a city, it isn’t uncommon in Colorado. They may live in suburban areas, but can get lost in an urban setting.
Foxes are extremely adaptable creatures. So, if they had to live in a city, they could. However, this could cause people to see them as pests and try to exterminate them.
A Good Deed
The woman who called for help did the right thing. Even if the animals weren’t puppies, they still had to be saved. It’s always a good idea to call for professional help in these kinds of situations.
People are quick to assume that when a baby animal is alone that they are in trouble. However, this is normal and safe for some animals. Take rabbits for example. Mothers will leave their babies for almost 23 hours a day in search of food.
The foxes are lucky to have such a happy ending. They now have a second chance at a great life thanks to the hard work of many dedicated individuals.
More Foxes to Watch For
With urban areas expanding, you can expect to see more foxes lost in the city streets. Their homes are being built on and destroyed, so they are trying to find another way to live. If you think you see a fox in a city, make sure to contact the professionals for help.