Firefighters risk their lives every day to put out fires and to save people’s lives. There is more to being a firefighter than just putting out fires. When a firefighter is on duty, they never know what kind of calls they are going to get. Some are typical calls, but others aren’t. The members of the Colorado Springs fire department got a rather unexpected call one day, and they had no idea that things were only going to get even more unusual as the day went on.
Crying In a Storm Drain
The call that the fire department got that day was from someone who claimed to hear crying sounds coming from a storm drain. They told the dispatcher that it sounded like animal cries. It was raining that day, and the forecast called for more, much heavier rain throughout the day. If the caller was right and there were actually animals trapped in the storm drain, they would be in serious trouble when the rain picked up. The firefighters knew that they had to make sure that there weren’t trapped animals.
Arriving On the Scene
The firefighters didn’t waste any time, and they headed to the storm drain. They made sure that they had all of the necessary tools to pull off the rescue safely. When they arrived on the scene, they saw the storm drain right away, and they could hear the animals crying. They just couldn’t figure out how they got in there.
The rescuers took a look into the storm drain and came up with a plan to get the animals out. They saw the animals down in the hole and laid down some fabric so that they could pull the animals up to safety. When they saw the animals, they realized that they were puppies. Once they brought the animals up, they knew that they had to figure out if they needed medical care. They had no idea how long the puppies had been down in the hole without access to food and clean water. They also weren’t sure if they were injured when they went into the hole.
How Did They Get There?
The question that the rescuers had was, how did the puppies get into the storm drain in the first place? There was a litter of puppies trapped, and they were too small to get there on their own. The mother wasn’t anywhere around, and the rescuers were sure that a mother would never leave her puppies alone in a storm drain. They assumed that someone didn’t want the litter of puppies and just dumped them.
The rescuers were bringing the puppies up, one by one. There were a total of eight puppies in the storm drain. The puppies looked like a litter of Labrador puppies. The rescuers knew that they had to get the puppies to the vet right away. Being so young and trapped without their mother, the rescuers were sure that they needed medical treatment. When they had the puppies loaded into the truck, they did one more quick check for their mother. If she was anywhere around, they knew that her puppies would need her, and finding her would be the best thing or them. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found. The rescuers knew that they couldn’t wait any longer, so they got ready to take the puppies to the vet.
The Humane Society of Pikes Region
As soon as the rescuers loaded up the puppies in the truck, they took them to the Humane Society of Pikes Region. There was a vet there waiting to check out the puppies. When they arrived with the puppies, they brought them right in, expecting to hear that they needed foods and fluids. The rescuers never expected to hear what the vet discovered.
The puppies looked just like Labrador puppies; therefore, the rescuers didn’t expect any surprises when they got to the vet. As soon as the vet saw the litter, he told the rescuers that they didn’t find a litter of Labradors. They weren’t even dogs at all. The animals that were rescued from the storm drain were actually baby foxes.
A Common Occurrence
According to the vet, finding a litter of baby red foxes in a strange place wasn’t out of the ordinary. If the mother goes out in search of food, she first makes sure that her puppies are safe and out of sight. The last thing that a mother fox wants is for a human or an animal to come across the puppies and cause them harm. Because of this, the mother will put them in a hidden place, where they will be safe until the mother returns. According to Travis Sauder, the manager of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife, red foxes are very smart animals. When it comes time for mothers to have their young, they understand that they need to keep them safe. The vet caring for the puppies believed that the mother might not have put the puppies in the storm drain, but instead, she gave birth in the storm drain.
Returning the Puppies
The vet gave the rescuers a quick lesson on red foxes, and when they were told that they had to bring the babies back to the storm drain, they were shocked. The vet told them that the storm drain was actually the perfect den for a family of foxes. He told them that they hoped that the mother would still be in the area and go back to caring for her babies. They were worried that she wouldn’t come back to care for them, so they decided that they would have to come up with a backup plan just in case.
Returning the Pups
When the rescuers returned the baby red foxes to the storm drain, they didn’t want to leave them alone. They decided to wait far enough away from the storm drain so that the mother fox wouldn’t see them, and close enough so they would be able to see when she returned to her babies. After a few hours of her not returning, the rescuers realized that there was a good chance that the mother wouldn’t return. They were starting to think that their plan B might become their only option. Plan B required them to go back down to the storm drain and load them back into the truck. This didn’t bother the rescuers at all because all they cared about was the safety of the baby red foxes.
Animal Clinic Of Woodland Park
When they discovered that the mother wasn’t going to return, the only place the foxes could go was to the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park. There, the puppies would get the care and treatment necessary to regain their strength. They would remain at the animal clinic until they were healthy enough and strong enough to live in the wild on their own. Baby foxes don’t do well in captivity; therefore, they need to be prepared to be released when they are old enough. Now that the fox’s mother was nowhere to be found, it would be up to the volunteers in the clinic to do the job of the mother, and keep the babies healthy, so that soon, they would be ready to go back into the wild.
The baby foxes were lucky that they were found by the fire department who knew what to do with them. Most people would have confused the puppies with Labrador puppies the same way that the rescuers did. If someone were to bring the babies home thinking that they were puppies, they would realize quickly that red foxes don’t make good pets. They also aren’t easy to care for. You can’t just feed a red fox regular dog food and treats. They need a special diet. Also, red foxes don’t do well in domestic living situations. Red foxes belong out in the wild. The rescuers are happy that they were the ones who found the litter of foxes so that they could get the care that they needed from the experts.
Before the little of baby foxes could be returned to the wild, they had to be rehabilitated. Being so young and so small would make the litter of foxes easy prey for other animals out in the wild. If the foxes were going to have a chance at living a full life, they would need to be able to protect themselves against predators. This would take size and strength. They would also need to be able to hunt and gather their own food. Without this skill, the experts at the animal clinic told the rescuers that they wouldn’t stand a chance until they were able to find their own food and water. Had the rescuers left the baby foxes with a vet, they would have received the care necessary to help them get stronger after being left alone so long. Still, they wouldn’t have had a chance to get the essential rehabilitative care to prepare them for life on their own.
Finally, after several weeks, the puppies were strong enough to be able to go back into the wild. The volunteers at the animal clinic worked hard to prepare the red foxes for a life out on their own. Before it was time to send the red foxes off on their own, the volunteers decided to reach out to the firefighters who saved the baby foxes in the first place. They figured that they would want an update, especially since there was a happy ending.
Finally, the day came to send the litter of red foxes out into the wild. The volunteers from the animal clinic got them ready, and a few of the firefighters went to the clinic to see the red foxes off. Even though they didn’t have their mother to watch out for them, they were ready to be out on their own. According to the volunteers at the animal clinic, foxes have instincts that they are born with, which helps them live out in the wild on their own. The volunteers were confident that the red foxes would have the necessary instincts to survive on their own.
The volunteers at the animal clinic hope that this story helps others know what to do if they come across a litter of tiny animals without a mother. First, they say that you shouldn’t take the puppies from where they are unless they are in immediate danger. Instead, you should wait close by, and make sure that the mother returns. If hours go by and there is no sign of the mother, you should do what the firefighters did. Take the puppies to the vet. There, if they actually are puppies, they can be nursed back to health and then adopted by their forever families. If it turns out that the puppies aren’t even puppies like in this case, the vet will know where to bring the puppies. If they don’t know offhand, they can make a few phone calls to find the best place for the animals to go. If you do find a litter, the last thing that you should do is take them home and try to care for them yourself. Even if they are just puppies, they will need special care, vitamins, and nutrients. They will need treatment from a vet to grow and thrive.
When the red foxes were released into the wild, the volunteers say that they remained together when they headed out on their own. The firefighters were deemed, heroes. If the fox’s mother didn’t come back and the rained picked up, the baby foxes likely would have drowned. The firefighters were heroes for bringing the red foxes to get the help that they need so that there is a real chance that they will thrive and live happily in the wild. Fireman thought they were saving tiny puppies, but they turned out to be red foxes. Fortunately, they did the right thing and gave the foxes a great chance at life.