These Firefighters Rescued Puppies But Later On They Realized Those Were Not Puppies At All

Our story begins with the Colorado Springs Fire Department receiving an SOS call one morning. Of course, SOS calls are not uncommon for them, but this one was different. In fact, even though those fire fighters are of course prepared for anything and everything, what was coming for them on this fateful day did take them by surprise a little bit.

On accordance with their protocol, the team drove to the scene of the emergency. Their task? To rescue 8 adorable puppies who were sadly caught in a storm drain. After the job was successfully done, the heroes thought that was it, but a few hours later, it became clear than there was more to the situation than meets the eye. What they thought was just a regular day at work turned out to be something more.

What The Job Entails

Did you know that firefighters do more than just fight fires (as if that one thing isn’t heroic enough…)? They also act as emergency personnel for all kinds of situations that may arise in the community. They help out in all kinds of crises, and they’re required to respond to any SOS calls. It doesn’t matter what kind of emergency it is, as long as they have the equipment, they’re tasked to help out. On that note, they’re also not limited to helping just humans. Sometimes, they also need to help animals who are in need of helping hand as well.

More Than Just Fires

Other than fires, firefighters also work to serve the community in any way they can. They offer their services to those in medical emergencies, they respond to calls regarding hazardous materials, and they even help out when it comes to building inspections. If there’s an accident, they can also come to the site to help with the rescue operations. These are just some of the things that firefighters regularly deal with.

Response Time

Response time is very important when it comes to this type of job. Even just a 2-minute delay can be very crucial for people who are stuck in some kind of emergency. In order to help people more efficiently, the Colorado Springs Fire Department has many different emergency response resources throughout the city. In 90% of cases, the department can report to the site in only 8 minutes.

Necessary Equipment

Equipment is also very important for firefighters. They need to bring all their necessary equipment with them whenever they respond to reports. In the case of Colorado Springs Fire Department, they actually have 22 engine companies, 6 truck companies, 3 medical squads, a whole hazmat team, and a HeavyHazmat team. They also have equipment like an air supply truck, a hose wagon, 11 brush trucks, and a vehicle for hazardous materials decontamination.

Just A Normal Day

On that fateful day, the men and women of the Colorado Spring Fire Department were simply going about their daily lives. It was just a regular day, like all the other days they previously spent on the job. None of them had any idea of what was to come next, or how strange their day was going to be. They were certainly used to rescuing those in need, but little did they know that this one would absolutely shock them. Can you guess what it is?

The Important Call

As mentioned in the intro, this story begins with the Colorado Springs Fire Department receiving a call about an animal emergency. They needed to rescue some animals immediately. The team headed out to respond to the call, knowing that time was important. But in just a few minutes, they would be going to the rescue site, not knowing what was in store for them.


There are certain precautions that firefighters have to take before responding to any call. Of course, any call could be dangerous, but they were specific about animal precaution. For one, animals could be rabid, which is an incurable virus with an almost 100% fatality once the symptoms start showing. Animals have different personalities and behaviors as well, so it’s impossible to tell for certain if a certain animal is going to bite or not. Typically, animals bite when they feel threatened, such as when they’re in an emergency. That’s why firefighters have to be very careful, especially when handling animals during rescue.

Always Prepared

To understand the story better, think of it this way: firefighters take the same precautions as anyone doing an emergency rescue. They have to handle the situation with care, or else someone may get hurt. They also have to make sure that everyone involved in the rescue will remain safe at all times, be it a human or an animal.

No Worries

That said, the firefighters of the Colorado Springs Fire Department weren’t actually nervous or worried when answering the call. They’ve already done this hundreds of times in the past. Even though they still no idea about what animals they were going to rescue and what the exact details of the situation was, they had enough experience to know how to handle the job when they finally got there.


The team immediately headed out in the truck to the rescue site. Upon first glance, they instantly saw what the problem was. A group of animals, supposedly puppies, were stuck beneath the storm gate. This was very dangerous for the animals, because if it ever rained, they were sure to drown in there.

The Clock Is Ticking

Without rain, the animals weren’t really in any immediate danger. However, the firefighters still knew that they should get the animals out as soon as possible, because they didn’t want to run the risk. Even without water, it was also very cold down there, which means that smaller animals, especially younger ones like puppies, may not be able to survive. Due to this, the firefighters knew that they had no time to lose. They needed to get the animals out, and fast.

Quick Thinking

Quick Thinking

The sewer grate wasn’t very deep, so the firefighters knew that the animals inside were pretty small. They wouldn’t have all fallen in if they weren’t small, after all. Unfortunately, even though it wasn’t very deep, the animals still were unable to climb out or jump out of the enclosure. The team needed to send a man or two down there in order to get the animals out. Knowing this, they began to prepare their plan.

First Look

The first thing the firefighters did was to raise the storm grate in order to grant them access to the space beneath. Upon doing this, they immediately heard the agonizing cries of the animals. That was when they realized that they weren’t rescuing just mere puppies, they were rescuing a whole litter of babies. The team still didn’t know how the babies even got there, but they were sure that they needed to get them out as soon as possible.

No Home

If you think about it, there’s no reason why the animals would even be down there. No mama animal would purposefully drop her babies in such a dark and cold enclosure. Also, the location of the drain was way too far from the wilderness, which is where these animals probably belong to. They had no idea about the mom either, because she was nowhere near. In other words, the team was still stumped about the reason how the situation occurred.


While  planning the rescue, the firefighters also decided to come up with a reason why the babies must have been trapped there. While some of the team tried to figure out the general layout of the enclosure that they were entering, others were thinking about how it all started. Was there a parent nearby? If there was, they figured that they may have spooked it off due to their noise and number.

A Difficult Situation

Upon reaching the babies, the team was very relieved and a bit surprised to see that they were completely fine. They were cold and hungry, but none of them was harmed in any way whatsoever. At first, the firefighters weren’t sure if they were completely okay, but upon closer inspection, there really wasn’t anything wrong with them. A great news for everyone, indeed.

Delicate Situation

Now, the firefighters were stuck in a dilemma. Since the babies weren’t harmed down there, they started wondering if their mother put them there on purpose. They needed to be cautious about this whole thing. If there was a mother nearby, she’d probably want to take her babies out herself. If the firefighters did it themselves, the mother may smell their smell on the babies and not want to touch them anymore.

Stressful Moments

Time was ticking though, and they had to decide. Even though it was a stressful situation, they needed to come to a conclusion quickly. They still didn’t know if there was a mother around, a problem that was made more difficult by the fact that they had no idea what kind of animals the babies were. It was dark down there and their features were barely visible. The team couldn’t figure out whether the mother of the animals were around, just waiting for everyone to leave.


It was like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Should they leave the babies alone and wait for their mother to return? Should they rescue them now from this cold and dark place? Is the mother even around? What would happen if they just leave the animals? Will they even survive if left down there? What if it rains shortly after they leave and the mother fails to rescue them? The team was having a lot of trouble choosing what was best for the babies.


Since they still couldn’t figure out the exact species of the animals, the only way would be to rescue them and actually get out of there. If these animals were domestic, they wouldn’t stand a chance if left here. If they were wild animals, however, the firefighters would much rather leave the decision to the mother, as wild animals tend to have better chances of survival anyway.

The Rescue

Finally, the team decided to compromise. They would rescue the animals by getting them out there, but they would do it wearing rubber gloves that would hopefully prevent their scents from transferring to the animals. They placed a sheet by the sewer to be able to put the baby animals there once they got them out.

The First

Slowly, the assigned team member reached in and took the first baby out of the enclosure. To their surprise, it was a tiny baby, not much bigger than the hand. Gently, the firefighter laid the baby animal down on the sheet. It started rolling around, very cute and innocent. More importantly, it was obviously not hurt in any way.

Man’s Best Friend

They continued taking out the rest of the animals. It became obvious what kind of animals they were actually dealing with: puppies! As in domestic puppies, of the man’s best friend variety. It was an entire litter, with all of them cutely rolling around as soon as they were placed on the sheet. The team was relieved, and then horrified. How in the world did these domesticated puppies find their way to the sewer?


The firefighters had a terrifying thought. Only a human being could have done it. No mama dog would place her pups in an enclosure like that, since it just wasn’t suitable for any baby animal. They immediately worried that it was the owner who did it on purpose. After all, many owners tend to abandon babies if their pets get pregnant and give birth. There could be a whole variety of reasons for this, like if they could no longer afford the animals or if they simply didn’t have space for them.

Cold Hard Truths

Of course, the team didn’t want to believe that thought. If it was a person who did this, then could they have known that the puppies would drown immediately if it ever rained? Was it the original plan after all? It was simply too heartbreaking to think about. What kind of person would let puppies drown on purpose?

Easy Solution

The firefighters hoped that it wasn’t the case. After all, there are many ways to remove animals from your home if you can no longer keep them. You can give them away to friends and family who can keep them. You can take them to the shelter. There are many other options, of course, but leaving them to drown in a cold and dark sewer shouldn’t be one of those options.


At first, the firefighters weren’t able to determine the exact number of puppies that were trapped down there, since it was so dark. They only managed to find out once they were finished pulling out every single puppy. Thankfully, the sewer wasn’t deep at all, so it was quite easy to do the rescue.


The puppies were all huddled together on the white sheet, likely confused and even terrified about their situation. They weren’t even old enough to stand up fully and walk. It was simply pitiful what had happened to them. After all, it’s easy to guess that any baby who was forced to stay inside a dark and cold sewer wouldn’t have had a good time, either. The babies all huddled together, perhaps trying to keep themselves warm.

Gathering Information

The firefighters still didn’t know how the situation came to be, but they made it their next goal to find out what happened exactly. They didn’t want to believe that any human owner would be horrible enough to do this on purpose to a litter of almost newly-born puppies. So to begin the investigation, they talked to the person who made the call. To their surprise, the woman said that it wasn’t a person who did that to the puppies. Actually, the puppies were swept away by a moving stream and fell into the storm drain.

A Sigh of Relief

The whole team let out a sigh of relief at the woman’s eyewitness account. They were very happy that it wasn’t a human who did it. Of course, they weren’t glad about the fact that the puppies were too close to the drain and fell in, but at least it wasn’t because of a heartless human who just had no regard for animal life.

Quick To Act

Quick To Act

The woman who saw what happened was also obviously distraught by the whole situation. According to her, when she saw what was about to happen, she immediately went after them, but they were able to slip away from her. She tried to get them out, but the grate was latched shut and she had no tools to unlatch it. So she sent an SOS call, hoping that they could send someone to rescue the poor babies.

Calling in for Help

When she realized that there was no way she was accomplishing this rescue herself, she called emergency services. Thankfully, the firefighting team who responded to the call were not only quick to act, they also knew exactly what to do in order to save the puppies. They used the tools at their disposal to get the puppies out of that dark, chilly, and dangerous storm drain.

One To Remember

The team thanked the woman for her quick thinking in calling emergency services. The woman thanked them back and said it was nothing, saying that she only did the right thing to do. Honestly, yes, it may be the right thing to do, but we have to admit that not all people would do what she did. Some people will see the incident and not say anything because it doesn’t concern them. It would be great if everyone cared the same way, perhaps the world would be a much better place.

Guessing Game

Guessing Game

The next step after rescuing the puppies would be to find a good home for them. First of all, they needed to find what kind of dogs they were so that they could have a detailed report. They observed the pups and noted that they were all colored black and had short and wiry hair. So they marked the dogs as Labradors. At least, that’s what they thought.

Next Step

After figuring out the breed of the puppies and ensuring that they were completely fine, the team brought the litter to the Human Society location next, hoping to get a professional check-up for the pups. Humane Society is a group that fights against animal cruelty and helps to find suitable homes and environments for pets.

Good News

The Humane Society veterinarian they went to confirmed that the puppies were all in perfect shape. They were all strong and healthy, and they weren’t malnourished, even though they’ve been left in the storm drain for a while. Relieved to hear this, the firefighters thought that was the end of the story.


One fireman included in the team by the name of Mark Jenkins left his contact information with the professionals who were handling the puppies. He was apparently concerned about how the puppies will turn out. But although he wanted to be updated, he also didn’t expect that he would hear back from them so soon. The call took him by surprise.

Interesting News

Interesting News

Worried, he immediately asked the vet what was wrong with the puppies. The vet then told him that there’s nothing wrong with the puppies, and that it was nice of them to bring them straight to the clinic. There was, however, one piece of information the vet shared that the entire team couldn’t have seen coming. Can you guess what?

The Surprise

According to the vet, the puppies that the team had painstakingly rescued were actually not Labradors. In fact, they weren’t even dogs. Apparently, the poor little baby animals that the fire department had rescued from the storm drain were actually a whole other species. Mark couldn’t believe his ears. What could these creatures be if not puppies?

The Explanation

The vet explained to Mark that the puppies were actually not dogs – they were actually the cubs of a wild animal species, the red fox. He told Mark that it’s very easy to mistake baby red foxes for puppies at that stage of their lives, because they look very similar to certain breeds. Also, the name isn’t completely accurate since most red foxes don’t actually look red, they just have an orange tint to them.

Doing Something Good

Mark immediately shared this incredible news to the other people on his team. They were all shocked at this new information, with many unable to believe that they had just rescued the babies of a wild animal. They really thought that they had rescued the puppies of a domesticated dog. Despite this, however, the team still felt that they did the right thing by rescuing the little cubs from the storm drain.



Because of this new development, the team now had another job to do. Red fox mothers can be quite protective of their young, which means this litter’s mama fox was probably looking for her babies everywhere. The vet recommended the fire department team to return the cubs to where they were found so that the mother won’t assume the worst and move on.

Worth A Try

At first thought, it might seem like the firefighters’ efforts would simply get wasted if they returned the cubs to the sewer drain. However, they knew that doing that would be for the best of the cubs. They needed to return the litter so that their mama fox could see them again and care for them once more. The team made sure that they would stand by and watch until the mama fox takes the babies out of the drain.


Gently, the fire department put the fox cubs in the sewer one by one. After that, it was time for the waiting game. They couldn’t just leave the litter there, of course, because if they were left alone completely, rain would mean certain death for the poor cubs. So instead, the team decided to remain at a safe distance, just watching and waiting to see if a mama fox would appear. They knew that there was a chance that she wouldn’t show up until nightfall, so they had to be patient.

The Red Fox

Before we talk about the conclusion of this incredible story, let’s talk first about the red fox. The red fox is a smart animal who tends to stay in their dens in the morning and go out in the night. They do this because they’re very careful about predators and they also need to hunt for prey at night. The team waited until nightfall, but sadly, the mama fox didn’t come.

Western European Fox

Western European Fox

Red foxes aren’t the only kinds of foxes out there. There’s also the Arctic fox in Scandinavian regions and the Corsac fox in Western Russia. In Western Europe, red foxes are the only kind of foxes there are in the wild. Also, one interesting fact is that among all true foxes, red foxes are actually the biggest species out there.

No Show

The fire department waited for a significant amount of time, but the mother didn’t show up the whole night. The babies kept calling for their mother, crying as the night got colder. Sadly, the mother was a no show. The team was devastated. Why wasn’t she showing up? Did she abandon them? Was she just scared? Was she hiding because of the weather? What could be the reason?



After several days and nights of watching over the baby cubs in the drain, the fire department decided that the mother wasn’t going to show up anymore. They couldn’t just keep waiting for her. They also couldn’t just blindly leave the cubs there. So they eventually decided to intervene for the fox cubs’ welfare.

The Next Move

After deciding to intervene, the team then explored their options. Where could they bring the babies for safekeeping? The city was no place for wild animals like these baby foxes. For the second time, the team took the litter from the sewer drain. They then headed straight to their next destination: the Woodland Park Animal Clinic.

Helping Hand

Helping Hand

The Woodland Park Animal Clinic is an establishment that aims to rehabilitate all kinds of animals, especially those of the wild variety. The clinic would often take baby wild animals in and raise them in a safe but close-to-natural environment as possible in order to prepare them for their life in the wild. This is necessary for wild animals who are growing in the care of humans. Being cared for by humans can impede the natural instinct of animals to hunt for food and care for itself.


The story is far from over though. Even until now, it serves as a great lesson for everyone involved. For instance, there’s a lot to be learned from the rescue mission itself. The public also has to be educated about wild animals like red foxes and the specific ways that they can be helped. After all, caring for domesticated animals is vastly different from caring for wild animals.

Less Surprising

Less Surprising

Of course, the team from Colorado Springs Fire Department who responded to the SOS call couldn’t have possibly known that the babies were red foxes and not actual dogs. According to animal experts, the mother fox must have mated for at least a couple of months before the whole incident occurred. They estimated that the baby cubs who were found in the drain were no more than just newborn cubs at the time.

Perfect Location

Also, although the specific drain where the cubs were found was in the city, it wasn’t actually a complete surprise that there were red foxes in the area. Colorado is a state that is known for its high population of foxes, including the red fox. This is all because of the state’s natural terrain, which makes perfect dens for foxes to live in.

Wildlife In Colorado

Wildlife In Colorado

Colorado doesn’t have just foxes, actually. The state is also teeming with a whole lot of other wild animals. You can also find animals like mountain lions, coyotes, bears, deer, and snakes in this state. Most people are aware of this, although of course some are still surprised to encounter wild animals when they’re just out and about. However, do take note that it is possible for humans and wildlife to live side by side, as long as neither side bothers the other. This is usually not an issue for animals who typically mind their own business, unlike humans who tend to be good at trespassing in areas that they don’t belong in.

Dark And Cool

Dark And Cool

Remember how horrified the firefighter team was to think that someone could have left the “puppies” there in the drain on purpose? Actually, animal experts believe that it does make a lot of sense, when seen from the perspective of the mama fox. Fox dens are typically cool and dark places in the wild. Sounds familiar? That’s right, the storm drain fit this description too. Of course, there was no way the mama fox could have known that the storm drain would fill up with water if it ever rained.


From a human perspective, it simply wasn’t wise for the mama fox to leave her cubs there unsupervised. The sewer may have been cool and dark, but it was also a very dangerous place for small animals like fox cubs. Drains also fill up with water regularly, which makes it a very bad place to raise baby cubs in.

Place Of Birth

Place Of Birth

Although they weren’t entirely sure how the whole thing happened, some speculated that maybe the mama fox really birthed them in that area on purpose. After all, the eyewitness said she saw them falling inside the drain, but why were they near the drain in the first place? Animal experts believe that the mama fox specifically chose that area because it’s near a ‘den-like’ enclosure.

Silver Lining

Silver Lining

If you think about it, it’s very heartbreaking that the fox cubs were ultimately abandoned by their mother. But the good news is that they did manage to thrive after the incident. It turns out that rehabilitating them at such a young age gave them the perfect opportunity to grow up well and happy.

Big Cities

Big Cities

Although the team at Colorado Springs Fire Department were very surprised at the revelation of the babies’ true species, finding foxes in the city isn’t really very uncommon. In some cities, you’ll be able to see various animals roaming around. This is typically due to the fact that the buildings were just built over what used to be their habitats. Slowly, their spaces are becoming smaller and smaller as humans start taking everything for themselves.

Wildlife Encounters

If you don’t want to have unexpected encounters with wildlife, the best way would simply be to live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of them. There are plenty of smaller cities within bigger metropolitan areas that don’t have a lot of wild animals. If you are already living in an area with plenty of wildlife though, you can do two things. First, avoid feeling any animals you see and keep your pet foods inside so as not to attract them. Two, you should close up any hole where they could nest in.



Foxes are starting to become more common even in highly urbanized cities. Sadly, this has led to people seeing them as pests. We suggest that you look at them with a different perspective. After all, if you think about it, it wasn’t really their fault. With humans clearing forests at an alarming rate, wild animals are quickly losing their homes.

Getting Help

Getting Help

If you were in the same position as the person who called the fire department, you should actually do the same thing. Don’t try to handle the animals by yourself, even if you think they’re just dogs. Call emergency services and let them do the work. It’s very important to leave it all to the experts.

Not All Bad

Not All Bad

Here’s another thought: when you see baby animals who seem to be alone, don’t attempt to ‘rescue’ them by touching them. Many of these animals were left on purpose by their parents, who may simply be out looking for food. If you take them away, the parents may think that their babies were eaten by predators, which means they’ll leave the area. Some parent animals also won’t touch baby animals that already have a tainted scent.

Happy Resolution

Keeping An Eye Out

Even though the baby foxes were never reunited with their mother, it’s still a pretty good ending, if you ask us. The baby cubs were rehabilitated and they did end up growing well and happy. It’s a good thing that they were rescued from the storm drain before anything bad could happen to them. Hopefully, they lead long and healthy lives in the wilderness.