CBS Denver / YoutubeThe firemen were exhausted after responding to several calls that night. But the puppies were so small, they all fit in their hands. As the creatures shivered, the firefighters used a wet cloth to clean their eyes. Then, each puppy was placed in a cardboard box lined with a blanket. The black puppies cried as they crawled across the blanket, looking for each other. Then, the firefighters discovered something shocking.
PexelsFirefighters are mostly responsible for responding to fires, but they’re also trained to help in any kind of emergency. If someone’s life is at risk, you know you can count on these fearless and brave folks who are always there to protect and help. And these puppies needed nothing short of a miracle.
Fragile Little Beings
PexelsNewborn puppies are a beautiful sight, but they’re also extremely fragile, and the firefighters knew that. They had to thread carefully, as these precious little creatures could’ve been hurt on the inside and they had no way of knowing it. Newborn puppies begin their lives in fragile states, but this was, well…heartbreakingly different. No one should experience something so horrific, especially when you’re barely old enough to fend for yourself. But the firefighters were concerned over something else too.
It’s A Tough Job
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookBeing a firefighter isn’t easy. They have to undergo a lot of training and pass a bunch of tests before they can put their lives on the line on a regular basis. Written exams include about 100 multiple choice questions based on spatial awareness, memory, logic and reasoning. The physical ability test includes climbing stairs while lifting 200 pounds too. The dangers they face constantly is difficult. But some calls are like a breath of fresh air from all the doom and gloom they see daily.
They’re Really Special
PexelsBut firefighters know that in the end, all their sacrifices and efforts will finally pay off. Someone’s gotta do it, right? Someone has to run straight towards danger and save whoever’s in distress. It would be well in our nature to hear an explosion or spot a fire and run away, but these heroes are the first officials on the scene of a catastrophe. We can’t help but wonder if people truly realize that day or night, these heroes are saving lives. Human or otherwise…
PexelsMany of us would’ve started balling at the sight of those poor defenseless tiny puppies, but firefighters are taught to remain calm, cool, and collected. Rescue and squad firefighters train to overcome panic. Freaking out won’t allow you to think, right? So when fire strikes, remaining calm helps you assess the situation and come up with a plan. Something many of us would’ve struggled with at the sight of these poor babies.
But That’s Expected
PexelsHaving a complete mental breakdown at the scene of a crash, or after your house got burned is to be expected. You just went through a horrific ordeal. But firefighters can’t fail their crew or community, so they have to be mentally present and adapt to conditions as soon as they arrive to the scene. No matter what happens, they know they can’t get distracted by emotions, empathy, and whatever it is they’re witnessing, (even if it’s a pretty heartbreaking sight!)
JC Gellidon / UnsplashIt’s that mental toughness that allows them to make sound decisions when they’re under extreme stress. But that’s not even the half of it! Not only do they have to keep tabs on their crew, protect the victims they’re rescuing, and assess the situation. Sometimes, they have to make tough decisions on the spot. Not being prepared to do so can lead to failure. And if there’s one thing to know about these heroic brave folks is that failure is not an option.
All In A Day’s Work
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookFirefighters often get called to the scene of wildfires, accidents, and animals who are trapped. There isn’t a whole lot that surprises these heroes. They’ve rescued countless people in dire situations. But this doesn’t make their job any less terrifying. But they’re fearless. And they ensure homes don’t go up in flames by fitting fire alarms inside houses. But things happen that shocked even the most experienced firefighters.
Someone Has To Do It
PexelsBut where would society be without someone to take on this grueling job? And how isn’t this one of the highest paying jobs in the world? Sure, we might have to deal with traffic on our daily commute. And you wish there would be an “off” button on those loud coworkers. But it doesn’t matter how stressful your job might be, it’ll never be as dangerous as working as a firefighter.
Andrew Gaines / UnsplashThey’re constantly at risk of receiving lung and respiratory damage, suffocating, smoke inhalation, and structures could even collapse on them. At some point in their career, burns can definitely occur too. Being a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. So why do they put it all on the line?
William Topa / UnsplashWell, for starters, someone has to do it! Someone has to be able to help that kitty crying out for help on top of a tree, or in this case, someone had to retrieve those poor puppies who needed someone to step in. Animals can’t rely on words to let us know they’re thirsty, hungry, or need our help. Sounds, and other nonverbal clues like wagging their tails or making a desperate howl is their way of letting us know something's up. And those sounds were a clear sign that something was wrong.
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookFirefighters have rescued animals stuck on roofs, trees, pipes, under buildings. You name it, they’ve done it. They’ve helped budgies, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, parrots, pigeons, turtles, cats, dogs, and even fish. The Colorado Springs Firefighters are local heroes to the human community as well as animals. Sadly, not every animal they’ve rescued has been fortunate enough to have a human family.
PexelsFirefighters are taught to keep emotions at bay when they’re rescuing puppies, kitties, birds, turtles, and pretty much any other being who needs their help. After all, they can’t just allow themselves to bond with every animal they rescue, right?
Pulling At Their Heartstrings
PexelsRescuing cats and dogs is pretty much an everyday thing for a firefighter. But every now and then, things can get pretty sentimental. After all, firefighters are only human! But more often than not, these furry creatures stuck in a sticky situation have a family to go home to. But what happens when the animal they’ve rescued doesn't have a home?
Squeals Of Distress
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookWorried civilians reached out to the Colorado Springs Firefighters about a bunch of puppies who were stuck in a storm drain. The rescuers arrived at the scene right away. And meters away, they could hear the squeals coming from the puppies. The firefighters got on their knees and started searching for the animals. The puppies were in grave danger because they were young, and predators lurked everywhere. Time was running out.
PexelsThey could hear the panic in their tiny voices. Their squeals were getting more and more desperate, and everyone at the scene was starting to get really worried, even Colorado Springs firefighters who had been trained to stay calm.
Everyone Was Concerned
PexelsThe situation was starting to get worse and worse. What if a predator was also hearing their screams and was harming the puppies? There had to be a reason why they were squealing so badly! Their howls kept getting louder. Those tiny creatures were screaming for help, and now people were starting to fear for their lives. Every minute was eternal. Was there any way to get to them a lot faster?
Search And Rescue
CBS Denver / YoutubeSome of the firefighters went looking for the creatures’ mother while the others took the puppies from the drain. Almost all of the puppies squirmed as they were taken away and placed in a cardboard box with a fresh towel. Fire Captain Brian Vaughan said that the puppies were very skinny and covered with soot. They appeared to cuddle with one another for comfort and warmth. But the firefighters grew concerned.
Nithish Narasimman / UnsplashThe puppies were very fragile. They didn’t know if these poor furry babies would be strong enough to make it. Who knows how long they’d been stuck in that drain? Fire Captain Vaughan worried that the puppies could’ve had hypothermia, or even worse, they could be injured on the inside. Their instincts kicked in almost automatically, as they cuddled next to their baby brothers and sisters for warmth. Nature really is amazing. But something was off.
They Couldn’t Understand It
PexelsFirefighters, EMTS, and police officers were no stranger to the horrors of the world. They’ve pretty much seen it all and heard it all in their many years in the force. But these firefighters couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps, these puppies didn’t wind up in the drain all by themselves. What if someone had abandoned them there?
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookBystanders watched with relief as the firefighters rescued what they believed to be black Labrador puppies. Like most puppies, these creatures appeared to be deaf and blind. Their eyes were closed and they didn’t react to noises. But they were also very small. In fact, their heads were larger than their bodies and they had really long tails. Then, they saw one lying in a corner, and it was all alone.
Vadim Kaipov / UnsplashThey couldn’t wrap their heads around the very real possibility that a human being could’ve done something this horrible. They stopped themselves from imagining every single scenario and focused on helping the tiny creatures.
They Needed Help
PexelsAfter all, they could’ve accidentally fallen there by themselves. But that’s when they noticed one puppy sitting alone in the corner. Why was he so far away from his brothers and sisters? They needed to check up on him and find out what was going on.
Christopher Harris / UnsplashWhen a dog rejects one of their own puppies, it’s usually a bad sign. That’s one of the reasons vets suggest we stay far way from newborn babies, so our smell doesn’t rub off on them. But what if this tiny fellow wasn’t sitting all alone in the corner because he was hurt? The firefighter couldn’t even begin to wrap his head around it. Whatever it was, they weren’t about to leave the little guy to fend for himself.
What Happened To Them?
CBS Denver / YoutubeVaughan held one of the small pups in his hand as he used a damp cloth to clean its face. But he worried. Had these animals been abandoned or abused? Was their mother hurt? Was she even alive? He had witnessed plenty of cruelty towards animals. In fact, animals were often injured on Halloween, which is why he disliked that holiday. But had these creatures fallen victim to a cruel fate?
A Safe Haven
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookAll nine puppies were recovered by the firefighters twenty minutes later. Both the Colorado Springs firefighters and the community, in general, were happy everything turned out okay. Then, the firefighters took the pups to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. Over the years, the animal welfare group had provided shelter for animals in South Carolina that were abused or abandoned. Firefighters came here often, but these creatures were rare.
SmokeSlarmSafetyThe creatures had made it to the Humane Society, but they were dirty, tired, hungry, and cold. So, each puppy got a check-up before being placed in a nice warm bed. They were scared. Then again, they were only a couple of weeks old. Their hair was short and black. That’s when they noticed that these creatures weren’t puppies.
What Were They?
Marlon Lara / UnsplashPuppies (and pets in general) need regular trips to the vet so that we can identify if there’s anything wrong with them before it’s too late. These puppies looked to be in great shape, especially given what they’ve been through. But there was something way off about them. After their checkup, the vet made a startling realization.
These Weren’t Puppies!
Marlon Lara / UnsplashThese scared furry creatures were in desperate need of a warm cozy bed. But these puppies didn’t look like your typical run-of-the-mill puppies. Oh no! The closer you got, the more obvious it was that these furry creatures weren’t actually tiny Labrador pups. As it turns out, these were totally different creatures.
Where’s The Mother?
howling red / Unsplash Brian Vaughan said, “No, these aren’t Labradors, these are foxes.” Fox mothers tend to flee when their cubs are disturbed. But they’ll watch from a distance, and once she feels it’s safe, she’ll return to her litter. This meant that the mother of these cubs was wandering around when people gathered to help the cubs in distress. She had probably waited for everyone to leave so she could get to her cubs and take them to safety. But she was too afraid to come back as the crowd grew.
Scared For Their Lives
Scott Walsh / UnsplashThe very fact that so many people had gathered to help out her cubs is what made this momma fox run away in the first place. She deemed the situation unsafe, so she probably found a bush nearby and hid there until everyone left. But that’s just it! People didn’t leave until they retrieved her cubs, and they took her cubs with them!
She Was Hiding
Martin Arusalu / UnsplashEveryone thought they were helping out a litter of abandoned puppies, but these furry creatures belonged to a momma fox, who must’ve been lurking nearby. If they’d known what they were dealing with, the firefighters and everyone involved would’ve probably left her babies at the scene after they retried them. Perhaps, they could’ve waited from a safe distance until she’d come out from hiding.
Made It Worse
Harrison Broadbent / UnsplashThis sadly meant that there was a momma fox out there who was left wondering what could’ve happened to her cubs. Foxes are very protective of their own, so she probably wasn’t too far away from the scene. The vet and rescue team were starting to realize she must be really concerned by this point. They knew they had to go back and try to find her.
Returning To The Scene
Colorado Springs Fire Department / FacebookThe firefighters were shocked by the true nature of the animals, but were glad that they hadn’t been abused. They had seen too many animals injured throughout their career, and they were tired of it. Now, they had to go back to the scene and look for the cubs’ mom. But she was nowhere in sight. Fortunately, there were plenty of foxes in Colorado Springs.
Jacquie Wykowski Albrecht / FacebookThe wildlife of Colorado Springs varies as one gets closer to the bottom of the Rocky Mountains. Locals often spot foxes on the edge of the city late at night, which isn’t odd since the animals are nocturnal creatures. But during winter, the foxes get closer to buildings and homes to look for food and other provisions. But rarely had anyone seen cubs like these, including the firefighters. So, they couldn’t believe how fortunate they were.
Catching A Glimpse
Linnea Sandbakk / UnsplashIt’s not easy to catch a family of foxes throughout the year, as they usually stay in the wild. But during late winter times, they start digging out potential breeding spots in rural areas. Once their babies are born, you can easily spot them as often times, they scavenge for food in urban areas.
PexelsWe’ve all seen a fox during our lifetime. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to come anywhere near you. These beautiful wild creatures tend to run away from humans, as they deem us dangerous. Foxes are expert hunters and runners, so if they run into you on one of their runs, they’ll quickly hide out in the woods or anywhere they feel is safe.
PexelsThankfully, there aren’t a ton of foxes that are willing to venture out too far. But there is a lot of controversy about feeding wild foxes in your own garden or nearby park. Some people tend to put out a lot of food in their own backyard as a way to lure them in and catch a glimpse. But this can be pretty dangerous for the foxes themselves.
Attracting The Wrong Crowd
Mindaugas Vitkus / UnsplashFoxes have one of the most diverse diets in the world, but that doesn’t mean they can eat excessive amounts of food, or even the same type of food we eat. You could very well leave out uneaten food, but you should always keep in mind that you could be attracting rats and cockroaches, and those are pretty hard to get rid of!
They Know How To Fend For Themselves
adrian / UnsplashUsually, foxes are more active at night, so perhaps if you’re going for a late-night hike or you’re camping in the woods, you’ll be more likely to see them. But what happened to this momma fox’s cubs? Apparently, not all hope was lost.
The Birthing Area
CBS Denver / YoutubeTravis Sauder, a manager from Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife, had this to say about the local animals. “This time of year, there are a lot of animals that are starting to have their young. [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 happen to this litter?
All Hope Is Not Lost
SOS Wolves / FacebookThe cubs are being cared for by veterinarians of the Humane Society. Unfortunately, the rescuers’ attempt to find the mother was unsuccessful. But Terri Collins, the center’s co-founder, shared how they intended to help the cubs who were staying at the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park. “We hope to be able to rescue all of them.” Hopefully, there’s still a chance that these creatures will find their way back to their mother.
PexelsBut the odds of tracing back their mom isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all, it’s not like you can run a DNA test or put out a “missing person’s” sign and hope their mother will come back to retrieve her cubs. By now, their mom is probably hunting and seeking shelter in the woods. But there might be hope after all.
Hope Isn’t Lost
Sebastian Callahan / UnsplashOnce these little cubs are strong enough to care for themselves, the rescuers will most likely release them back to their natural habitat. Orphaned foxes at wildlife centers will have to be get pretty healthy and fit before they can leave. They need to make sure they can fend for themselves in the wild.
Luca Bravo / UnsplashThe environment will be selected based on the foxes' chance of survival. The habitat must offer the foxes an acceptable level of predation, and must be far away from anything that could pose a threat to their health. So when these foxes are strong enough to be released, perhaps they’ll find their own way to their mom.
Sunyu / UnsplashInstinct is pretty strong, so you never know if these animals might have a way to recognize their mother once they get released. But whatever happens, at least this team of rescuers knows that these creatures will be safe and happy in their natural habitat, which is were they were meant to be all along.
How To Help
Jeremy Vessey / UnsplashIf you see wild foxes around your area, don’t go near them. Don’t try to hand-feed them either, especially in urban areas as this encourages them to get bolder and bolder. The more they dare to come into the city, the more dangerous it’ll be for them. But there’s a lot more you can do.
PexelsAnimal rescue projects don’t often get financial support from the government. They rely entirely on donations, no matter how big or small they may be. Other rescue projects allow people to donate their time as well, or even foster rescued foxes who need care momentarily. But the easiest way to help them is to stay far away from the fur trade and to never buy anything that’s made out of fox fur, (or any kind of fur for that matter!)
Save A Fox
schwa021 / FlickrAs a matter of fact, “Save a Fox,” for example, is an organization from Minnesota that rescues sick, orphaned, and injured foxes from furfarms. But they're not the only ones. There any many rescue groups across the globe that rely on volunteers and donations. But something as little as raising awareness could help as well. Animals deserve to roam free, so if you speak out or donate to your local rescue group, you’ll be making this world a better place.