Firefighters risk their lives daily to protect the community. But very often, they find themselves rescuing the four-legged members. The Colorado Firefighters received multiple call-outs a week to fetch animals stuck in strange situations. After years on the team, they never expected to find these critters.
The men were tired after multiple incidents throughout the night. The small puppies fit easily in the palm of their hands. The firemen rubbed their eyes with a wet cloth as they shivered with
the cold. Puppy after puppy was placed in a blanket-lined cardboard box. The black critters squealed and cried as they dragged themselves across the blanket, searching for their siblings. Then, they noticed something strange.
Firefighters have a grueling job. Before risking their lives on a daily basis, they must pass multiple tests. Written exams consist of around 100 multiple choice questions based on reasoning and logic, spatial awareness, and memory. A physical
ability test follows, involving challenges like climbing stairs at a rapid pace while carrying 200 pounds. The high-risk job comes with its complications. But there are some calls that give them a nice break from life-threatening accidents.
Firemen are used to an array of call-outs. From accidents to wildfires to trapped animals, those who dedicate their lives to the force have seen it all. They’ve rescued the innocent and saved the vulnerable. But
that doesn’t make the tough bits of their job any easier. The squad fit fire alarms in homes to ensure safety for the community. But there are always incidents that manage to surprise these firefighters.
The firefighters have saved animals from every situation—up trees, on roofs, under buildings, between pipes. Their list of rescues includes fish, cats, turtles, dogs, parrots, pigeons, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and
budgies. The Colorado Spring Firefighters have become local heroes of both the community and their beloved pets. However, not all animals are lucky enough to have owners to look after them.
When the Colorado Spring Firefighters received a call from worried civilians about puppies who had fallen down a storm drain, they were quick to arrive at the scene. Meters away, their squeals and cries were audible.
The men got down on their hands and knees to locate the small dark balls of fur. A crowd gathered around them to witness their skills. The young were vulnerable to predators. Time was against them.
Half the team searched for the critter’s mother as the other fished the puppies from the drain. Some cried. Others were silent. Fire Captain Brian Vaughan explained how nearly all squirmed as they were removed
from their siblings and placed on a fresh towel in a cardboard box. All were dark as soot, skinny, and very underweight. They shuffled to one another for warmth and comfort. Then, the firefighters grew weary.
The onlookers were delighted by the firefighter’s rescue, concluding the pups to be black labradors. Like regular pups, these critters seemed blind and deaf. They didn’t respond to noise and their eyes
were continually shut, but these seemed smaller than usual. Their heads seemed too big for their slim bodies, and their tails were extra-long. Then, they noticed one lying still in the corner, alone.
Brian held the small creature in his warm hands before cleaning its face with a damp cloth. A fear grew. Had these pups been dumped? Were they victims? Had their mother been
hurt, or worse? He had seen too many instances of mistreatment. He hated Halloween due to the injuries that occurred to animals throughout the night. Did these innocent animals experience a similar fate?
It took twenty minutes for the squad to retrieve all nine puppies from the drain. The community and the Colorado Spring firefighters were delighted with another successful rescue mission. They loaded the orphans onboard and made their
way to the Humane Society of the Pikes and Peak Region. Throughout the years, the animal welfare group has been a haven for homeless and mistreated animals in South Carolina. Firefighters were regular visitors, but these critters weren’t.
Could It Be?
The young creatures were cold, hungry, dirty, and tired when they arrived at the Humane Society. Before getting settled into a dry bed for the night, they gave each puppy a quick check-up. They were just a few weeks old and frightened. Their hair was black and short. Then, they realized that these animals weren’t puppies at all!
‘No, these aren’t Labradors, these are foxes,’” Brian Vaughan shared. When fox cubs are disturbed, mothers flee their side and monitors them from a distance. She keeps a close eye on her litter from afar and only returns when it is safe to do so.
Chances are, the mother of these cubs was lurking close by when they were spotted by people passing by. She waited patiently for the crowd to disperse for the chance to move her kin. But when a crowd began to grow, she feared to return.
Although amazed by the true identity of their rescuees, the firefighters were relieved that the cubs were not victims of mistreatment. They had seen enough injured animals in the past to last them a lifetime. They returned to the scene to search for their mother. However, she was nowhere to be found. Luckily, Colorado Springs were no strangers to foxes.
Located at the bottom of the Rocky Mountain, the wildlife of Colorado Springs varies. The locals are familiar with foxes, spotting the primarily nocturnal animals on the outskirts of the city late at
night. When temperatures dip in Winter, they move closer to homes and buildings, scavenging bins for extra provisions. But few have seen a littler of cubs, including the firefighters. They couldn’t believe their luck.
“This time of year, there are a lot of animals that are starting to have their young,” Travis Sauder, a manager from Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife, shared his wildlife expertise.
“[Mothers] have [their young] in small dens that are places that we can encounter when we’re recreating in the outdoors like we like to do.” But what would become of these cubs?
After an unsuccessful attempt to reunite the cubs with the mother, they are now being watched by the dedicated vets of the Humane Society. The center’s co-founder, Terri Collins, explained their plans to rehabilitate the
young cubs at the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park. “We hope to be able to rescue all of them,” he shared. Let’s hope these critters make it back home to their family after their rocky start.