When this SOS call reached the Colorado Springs Fire Department, they had no idea what the actual situation was. They hurriedly went to the scene, and once they got there, they started pulling out eight puppies that had been trapped in a sewer. However, several hours later, it dawned on them that they got the situation wrong. The small helpless animals that they rescued were actually not puppies…
In case you did not know, firemen do other things when they are on the job aside from putting out fires. They also respond to calls for help in various situations. Another fact that is less known is that people are not the only ones who get some help from firemen.
Not Just Fires
In addition to putting out fires, firemen also help out with plenty of things in their communities. Responses to hazardous materials, inspections of new buildings, and medical emergencies are just some of the things that firefighters do.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department has provided staff to emergency response resources in various parts of the city so that they could reach people that need help as soon as possible. This way, they can get to any area in the city in eight minutes most of the time, 90% to be exact.
In order to provide help that people need, the fire department naturally has to have the best equipment for different kinds of situations. The Colorado Springs Fire Department has 22 engine companies, 1 HazMat team, 3 medical squads, 1 Heavy HazMat team, and 6 truck companies. Besides that, they have 11 brush trucks for firefighting in wild land areas, 1 decontamination vehicle for hazardous materials, 1 air supply truck, and 1 hose wagon which can carry personnel and be dispatched to emergencies.
Just A Normal Day
For the Colorado Spring Fire Department, the day started out just like any other. They had no idea at the time that their day would become something peculiar and that a rescue would go quite differently than planned. Little did they know that their day would bring something pretty unforgettable.
One day, the CSFD got a call asking for help about some animals. Just minutes later, they were already out to answer the call. Getting there as quickly as possible was vital in helping the poor animals. They had no idea this rescue was actually a very unique one.
In helping or rescuing animals, certains precautions have to be taken by firefighters. Different animals have different behaviors and mannerisms, so they can react in different ways if they are in danger. Some animals even become more aggressive if they are in danger because they feel threatened. That is why firefighters have rules to follow to ensure both the safety of the animal and theirs.
With this in mind, firefighters have to be very careful when approaching the situation. It does not matter what the situation is, they have to make sure that they are safe. This team did not know what animal they were helping out, so they needed to be cautious and prepared for anything.
The firefighters were not actually that concerned about this particular job seeing as they had plenty of experience in this area. They had no idea what animals they would rescue, but they knew they had the ability to handle it.
Without hesitation, the team got on their truck and sped to the location of the animals, who were trapped deep beneath some storm grate. If it rained, the animals would surely be in serious trouble.
The Clock Is Ticking
If it wasn’t going to rain, the animals were not in immediate danger. However, the firefighters knew that it was still important to hurry. In addition to being in a dark and deep place, the enclosure was really cold. Clearly, there was no time to waste and the firefighters had to come up with a plan.
The firemen thought the trapped animals were pretty small because despite the fact the sewer grate was not very deep, the animals were still unable to get out. It appeared the team would just need one or two of them to pull the animals out. The firefighters started prepping for the rescue.
The firefighters all together lifted the storm grate to make the bottom accessible. The animals’ cries from below were very clear and the rescuers quickly realized the animals were actually babies. The team wondered how the animals got there and what they were doing there.
The firefighters were puzzled about why the small animals had gotten inside the storm grate. The wild is naturally where the animals would be better off in. Obviously, these animals were far from any type of wild habitat. The firefighters also could not help but think about where the animals’ mother was.
The rescuers still had no idea what kind of animals had been trapped in the drain. The firefighters made sure to figure out the layout of the place properly. If there had been a dad or mom around, it was quite possible that the rescuers spooked them away.
A Difficult Situation
When the firefighters saw the babies, the rescuers could not believe the little ones were still alive. There was a lot of garbage and dirt in the sewer. In addition, the babies were freezing and no food was in sight. While the team had doubts if the babies were going to be okay, the rescuers still thought they needed to try and help the tiny animals.
The firefighters knew that they should be careful when approaching the scene. If the mother of the babies was in the area, she might be able to help them herself. However, if the rescuers handled the babies themselves, the mother might return later and decide to leave her babies. Whatever the case may be, time was certainly running out.
The firefighters were not sure what type of animals the babies were, so it was hard for them to figure out whether the mother was nearby or not. Even though it was difficult to know what was best, it seemed the animals were in need of some help. The rescuers came up with a plan on what to do next.
The firefighters had to make a tough decision. They had to choose either to leave the babies there, with the hope that the mother would return and get her babies out herself, or take them out themselves since they could not see the mother. They knew for sure that the babies could not get out by themselves. At this point, the team knew they had to find out what kind of animal these babies were.
Since the team had no idea what kind of animals was trapped, they knew they needed to get them out to find out. If they were dealing with domestic animals, then these babies needed some serious help. However, if they were wild animals, they wouldn’t be this desperate.
The rescuers made sure to wear gloves so that they could avoid getting their scent on the babies. The firefighters laid out some sheet by the sewer to put the babies there when they were out. This would also keep the little ones safe.
A firefighter slowly reached down in the sewer and picked up the first animal carefully. The team was shocked when they first saw the animal since it was really small. Once the animal was placed on the sheet, it rolled around innocently.
Man’s Best Friend
After the firemen got a good look at the first baby, they finally figured out what animal they were helping: puppies! They did not know how the babies ended up in the sewer, but the rescuers were sure about one thing. The babies should not be there.
The firefighters found what they were seeing hard to believe. They worried that a person might have been responsible for putting the puppies inside the sewer. Sadly, pets being abandoned by their owners is not uncommon. At times, owners think there is no other way to dispose of animals.
Cold Hard Truths
The team hoped this situation was not because of a person’s doing, since it would be very heartbreaking for the small babies. The firefighters picked up the pace since they wanted to have all the puppies out and safe.
This situation should serve as a lesson for those pet owners who find themselves unable to take care of their pets. Abandoning an animal in an unsuitable environment is never okay. The firefighters really hoped the case here was different.
At first, the rescuers could not really tell the number of puppies inside the grate, so they had to wait until all the animals were out. Fortunately, the sewer only seemed deep but was actually not. This made it easier for the team to get the babies out.
It must have been really confusing for the puppies since they were in a cold and dark sewer, and then they were suddenly surrounded by people. The small babies huddled together in order to keep warm. It appeared as if they had been in the sewer for more than a few days.
The crew was still confused about how the situation came about, so they started to talk to the witness that reported it. She said that she saw a fast-moving stream sweeping the puppies away and into the storm sewer during bad weather.
A Sigh of Relief
The firefighters were relieved to find out that the puppies were not purposely placed in the drain. However, this fact changed the whole situation. The puppies somehow got a little too close to the drain and then fell inside.
Quick To Act
Upon seeing the puppies being swept away, the woman did her best to help them. She ran to catch up with them in time, but she was not fast enough. She also tried to open the storm grate, but she could not do it without the right tools.
Calling in for Help
When she realized that she could not help the puppies on her own, she called for help. Fortunately, the firefighters knew what they needed to do and had the tools which were needed. They were also very happy that she had called them.
One To Remember
The team was relieved to find out about what really happened with the puppies. One person saw that animals were in danger and did not hesitate to help in any way that she could. The crew sincerely hoped that everyone would do what the woman did if they were in a similar situation.
The crew started to try and figure out what breed the puppies were. The babies were all black and had short and wiry hair. Their conclusion was that the puppies were labradors. However, the firemen had no idea that a surprise was in store for them.
Once the team had gotten the puppies out of the sewer, all safe and sound, the rescuers had to make sure that the babies were all healthy and okay. They went to a Humane Society to have the puppies looked at and to know if the babies were not hurt in any way.
Thankfully, the puppies were all in relatively good health. The babies did not appear malnourished, and they were strong. Having made sure the puppies were okay, the firefighters decided that their job was done.
Mark Jenkins, one of the firefighters who rescued the puppies, gave his phone number to the doctors in case of updates about the puppies after they were dropped off. He surprisingly got a call from the doctors soon afterward.
The vet immediately reassured Mark the puppies were okay. The doctor told the fireman that they did a good thing when they brought the puppies to the vet. However, Mark did get a startling bit of information from the vet which caused the firefighter to nearly laugh out loud.
The vet explained to Mark the puppies had some kind of a surprise for the fireman. It turned out that the puppies were not actually puppies. As a matter of fact, they were not dogs. Mark was shocked by what he heard. He was wondering how they could not be dogs and what they were exactly.
The vet told Mark the puppies were not dogs, but were actually baby foxes. To be specific they were red foxes. The vet explained that fox cubs tend to look a lot like puppies at birth, especially because red foxes are not actually red in most cases.
Doing Something Good
Mark relayed the information to the rest of the rescuers and unsurprisingly, they couldn’t believe it either. They were all pretty sure the animals were baby dogs. In any case, they were still very happy that they had been able to help the small animals.
The baby foxes may have been rescued, but their story was definitely not over! The vet said the mother might still be around the area where the babies were rescued from. It is possible for the mother to find them if the firefighters could place the babies back.
Worth A Try
The firefighters felt as if they were undoing all the things they did earlier, but they knew that putting the foxes back was the best thing to do to find the animals’ mother. The rescuers put the babies back into the storm drain reluctantly. This time around, the team made sure to watch the babies.
After all the baby foxes were put back in the storm drain, the rescuers waited patiently nearby. They made sure to be at a safe distance to avoid spooking the mother. It was quite possible that she would return for her babies during night time. The situation somehow turned into a waiting game for everybody.
The Red Fox
The red fox is a very smart and cunning animal. During the day, it mostly stays in its den and usually go out at night. Sadly, the rescuers did not see the mother all throughout the night. The team truly hoped that she would come in the morning.
Western European Fox
The only fox that is native to Western Europe is the red fox, even though there is a small native population of Arctic foxes in northern Scandinavia and the range of corsac foxes extends into European Russia. Red foxes are also different from other foxes in terms of size. As a matter of fact, red foxes are the largest of the true foxes!
After the rescuers waited for a long time, the mother still did not show up. The babies could be heard calling for her. It was possible all the events which had taken place earlier spooked the mother.
Everyone’s patience appeared to be wearing out after the long wait for the mother. A few nights have passed and there was still no sign of her, so they thought the mother was not coming back. Over time, the rescuers decided to intervene again since it was clear that the baby foxes needed help.
The Next Move
Once they made the decision, the firemen knew they had to make their move. They took the babies out of the sewer again and brought the animals back to Woodland Park’s Animal Clinic. The clinic was helping the foxes out in any way possible.
This clinic helps rehabilitate different types of animals. The clinic staff raise animals like the baby foxes until they are strong enough to look after themselves in the wild. The foxes may have been in good hands, but their story was not over yet.
The story of the baby foxes is heart-warming and educational as well. During the entire ordeal, the firefighters learned a lot about the animals. There is actually a lot that can be learned about wild animals, such as the different things to do if they need help.
Naturally, the firefighters were surprised to have come across the baby foxes but for animal experts, it was not really a surprise. The experts think the mother had mated months before and gave birth to the babies not too long ago.
The animal experts were also not surprised that the cubs had been found in Colorado. The state is known for the population of foxes in it. In addition, its terrain is perfect for foxes. There are mountains and hills, which can be perfect for making dens.
Wildlife In Colorado
In addition to foxes, Colorado is teeming with wildlife, from bears, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, to even snakes. Usually, it is possible for people and wildlife to coexist, but people have to remember that wild animals are definitely not pets. It is best thing to leave these animals alone.
Dark And Cool
Though it doesn’t seem likely that baby foxes were put in a sewer grate by their mother on purpose, animal experts can think of a possible reason why she did so. Fox dens are usually dark and cool, so they are not unlike the sewer grate where the babies were in.
It is possible that the mother fox made a mistake when she left her babies behind while she went to pick her den. The sewer may be dark and cool, but its similarities to the usual fox dens were not enough for it to be a good place for baby foxes.
Place Of Birth
Slowly, the story of the baby foxes was getting clearer and clearer. No one may have been able to guess how they ended up in the area, but it is possible the mother gave birth to them inside the sewer. The baby foxes being okay remained unclear.
The little foxes had been abandoned, but there was a good chance they will be alright. It was even better that they went through serious rehabilitation when they were really young since this will help them a lot.
For the firefighters, it was a surprise to find the baby foxes in a busy city but apparently, this was not an uncommon occurrence. In growing cities, it oftentimes happen that animals roam as their habitats get overtaken by buildings.
To prevent encounters with wildlife, there are things you should avoid doing. Make sure that you do not feed the animals. You should keep your pet food inside. You should also fill the cracks and holes in your house which are bigger than a fourth of an inch to keep out bats, rats, mice, and snakes.
Foxes seem to be getting more comfortable in areas in the city, so many usually see them as pests and miscreants. Over time, animals have a hard time finding homes since cities and construction sites overtake their habitats.
The woman who called the fire department about the baby foxes did the right thing. Calling for help is better than trying to take care of the situation alone since it is best to get some assistance from experts in the field. A lot of times, the best thing to do is to leave animals alone. Experts have the knowledge to properly handle the situation.
Not All Bad
When people see that baby animals are alone, they tend to assume that the small animals are in trouble. However, this is not always the case. Some newborn animals, such as rabbits, can be alone for a maximum of 23 hours a day.
It was a happy ending for the baby foxes after all. A woman had compassion in her heart to help them, and the firefighters came to her aid. They were all able to make sure the babies got taken care of. After rehabilitation at the clinic, the foxes will be able to go back and live in their natural habitat.
Keeping An Eye Out
As more cities are built and expanded around the world, animals will continue to struggle to find a habitat. If you come across animals which appear to be out of place, call for help. We should all do our part.