19 animal rescues in 2019

From the many dogs rescued from burning homes to the fat rat stuck in a manhole, firefighters had their hands full with animal saves


By FireRescue1 Staff

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Animals hold a special place in our hearts, and thanks to fire and rescue personnel around the world, many pet owners and animal lovers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their furry – and not-so-furry – friends are safe.

From the many dogs rescued from burning homes to the fat rat stuck in a manhole to the bald eagle being rehabilitated so it can fly again, here are 19 great animal rescue stories from 2019 to warm your hearts:

19. Video: Ga. Firefighters rescue dog from burning home

Video shows a firefighter from the Smyrna (Georgia) Fire Department handing a small dog through the window of the burning house.

The video of the rescue, which was posted on the department Facebook page, went viral. (Photo/Smyrna Fire Department Facebook)
The video of the rescue, which was posted on the department Facebook page, went viral. (Photo/Smyrna Fire Department Facebook)

18. Conn. firefighters rescue farm animals from barn blaze

The Scotland Volunteer Fire Department responded to a barn fire, and firefighters were able to save a chicken coop and dogs from the structure.

The barn itself was not occupied at the time of the fire, according to fire officials. (Photo/Scotland Volunteer Fire Department Facebook)
The barn itself was not occupied at the time of the fire, according to fire officials. (Photo/Scotland Volunteer Fire Department Facebook)

17. Firefighters rescue 2 dogs from house blaze

While battling a house fire in Waterloo, Iowa, firefighters were able to locate the homeowner’s two dogs, Duck, who was unharmed, and Slim, who was unconscious but revived with the use of a pet oxygen mask.

Paramedics placed an oxygen mask specially designed for pets over its snout, and minutes later the dog opened his eyes and was glancing around. (Photo/Screenshot)
Paramedics placed an oxygen mask specially designed for pets over its snout, and minutes later the dog opened his eyes and was glancing around. (Photo/Screenshot)

16. Fla. firefighters rescue service dog stuck in hole

After service dog Micky went missing, its owners found him in a six-foot-deep hole that had formed along a seawall at their waterfront home; fortunately, Seminole County firefighters were able to shore up the hole and pull Micky to safety.

Micky, who is doing well, later visited the crew at Station 42 to show his appreciation! (Photo/Seminole County Fire Department Facebook)
Micky, who is doing well, later visited the crew at Station 42 to show his appreciation! (Photo/Seminole County Fire Department Facebook)

15. Video: Baby seal rescued by Calif. city firefighters

When a five-month-old baby seal named Santos waddled his way into a Redwood City parking structure, a good Samaritan called the Redwood City Fire Department, and members were able to capture Santos and take him back to the station, where he was picked up by the Marine Mammal Center.

The Instagram video showed Santos hopping around the parking lot as firefighters looped a rope around his neck, followed by a clip of the baby seal nodding off in the fire station. (Photo/Redwood City Fire Department Facebook)
The Instagram video showed Santos hopping around the parking lot as firefighters looped a rope around his neck, followed by a clip of the baby seal nodding off in the fire station. (Photo/Redwood City Fire Department Facebook)

14. Jaws of Life used to free dog’s head from cinder block

When a 6-month-old dog named Fifi managed to wedge her head inside a cinder block's holes, firefighters from St. Johns County Fire Rescue used the Jaws of Life to break the block into pieces. Fifi was not injured in the process.

Deputies arrived first and attempted to free Fifi with soap and water. (Photo/St. Johns County Fire Rescue Facebook)
Deputies arrived first and attempted to free Fifi with soap and water. (Photo/St. Johns County Fire Rescue Facebook)

13. Iguana in toilet surprises Fla. man who calls 911

Fort Lauderdale firefighters responded to the home of a man who found an iguana in his toilet. Crews fished the iguana out and released it into the wild.

Can you imagine lifting the toilet seat and finding this? (Photo/Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Facebook)
Can you imagine lifting the toilet seat and finding this? (Photo/Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Facebook)

12. Firefighters use pet oxygen mask to revive dog

Baltimore City firefighters were able to revive an unconscious mutt they found inside a burning home using a pet oxygen mask provided to the department through a partnership with Invisible Fence Brand.

The dog was not breathing well at first. It came around after about 15 minutes. (Photo/Baltimore Firefighters IAFF Local 734 via Twitter)
The dog was not breathing well at first. It came around after about 15 minutes. (Photo/Baltimore Firefighters IAFF Local 734 via Twitter)

11. Mich. firefighters rescue horse trapped under ice

After learning that a horse named Eli was on its side in a creek with one leg trapped under ice, Oxford Fire Department crews entered the water and used tow straps to remove the horse from the ice, and then community members helped crews get the horse up the embankment to safety.

While the rescuers struggled with steep terrain, community members joined the mission, bringing blankets, feed and a skid-steer loader. (Photo/Oxford Fire Department Facebook)
While the rescuers struggled with steep terrain, community members joined the mission, bringing blankets, feed and a skid-steer loader. (Photo/Oxford Fire Department Facebook)

10. Tenn. fire and EMS crew tends to injured dog after collision

Following a vehicle accident with patients treated, Rutherford County Fire & Rescue crews also assisted Pepper, a dog that needed a bleeding paw bandaged.

A paramedic with Rutherford County EMS transported Pepper to the local hospital to which her owner had been taken, safely reuniting Pepper with her family. (Photo/Rutherford County Fire & Rescue Facebook)
A paramedic with Rutherford County EMS transported Pepper to the local hospital to which her owner had been taken, safely reuniting Pepper with her family. (Photo/Rutherford County Fire & Rescue Facebook)

9. Photos: Calif. firefighters rescue owl during Maria Fire

During the Maria Fire in California, firefighters found a great horned owl among the ashes, disoriented and suffering from smoke inhalation. Ventura County firefighters rescued the owl, which was turned over to the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation for care.

The owl was named Ram after the NFL team in nearby L.A. County. Ram is in the care of the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation. (Photo/Ventura County Fire via Twitter)
The owl was named Ram after the NFL team in nearby L.A. County. Ram is in the care of the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation. (Photo/Ventura County Fire via Twitter)

8. SC fire captain adopts puppy he rescued from under a rock

Charleston Fire Captain Paul Bryant responded to a call for a puppy trapped under rocks and concrete – and found his best friend. He later adopted the puppy, now named Rocky.

North Charleston Fire Department Captain Paul Bryant and Rocky. (Photo/North Charleston Fire Department Facebook)
North Charleston Fire Department Captain Paul Bryant and Rocky. (Photo/North Charleston Fire Department Facebook)

7. Video: Calif. firefighters rescue 13 ducklings from storm drain

Chula Vista firefighters used a net to rescue 13 ducklings from a storm drain. The ducklings were ultimately transferred to Project Wildlife where caregivers will raise the ducklings until they can survive on their own.

Crews briefly located the mother duck and tried to capture her in an effort to relocate the entire family, but she flew away. (Photo/Screenshot)
Crews briefly located the mother duck and tried to capture her in an effort to relocate the entire family, but she flew away. (Photo/Screenshot)

6. Video: Ohio firefighters, police free deer stuck in metal fence

Euclid Fire Department firefighters used a new saw to free a deer stuck in a metal fence – all while the deer’s mother watched from a nearby location.

Once freed, the deer appeared unharmed as it sprinted away. (Photo/Euclid Fire Department via Twitter)
Once freed, the deer appeared unharmed as it sprinted away. (Photo/Euclid Fire Department via Twitter)

5. Video: Colo. firefighters rescue dog from icy waters

The South Metro Fire Rescue Authority responded to a report of a dog that had fallen into icy waters at a park. A firefighter donned a dry suit, quickly rescued a dog, and reunited the dog with its owner.

The dog, who seemed to be doing well, was reunited with its owner. (Photo/Screenshot)
The dog, who seemed to be doing well, was reunited with its owner. (Photo/Screenshot)

4. Phoenix firefighters battle house fire while saving hundreds of reptiles

When responding to a house fire, Phoenix firefighters were shocked to find a house full of hundreds of snakes and other reptiles – all non-venomous. Some members of the crew battled the flames while others picked up the snakes. 

The firefighters also rescued several different lizards, tortoises, and a couple of dogs and cats. (Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)
The firefighters also rescued several different lizards, tortoises, and a couple of dogs and cats. (Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

3. Video: Firefighters rescue fat rat stuck in manhole cover

A volunteer fire crew in Germany responded to the scene of a plump rate that had become stuck in a manhole. Crews used a pole to hold a plump rate still while they lifted the manhole cover and released the animal.

Some questioned why firefighters and the rescue group put so much effort into the rescuing of an animal that is usually exterminated. (Freiwillige Feuerwehr Auerbach Facebook)
Some questioned why firefighters and the rescue group put so much effort into the rescuing of an animal that is usually exterminated. (Freiwillige Feuerwehr Auerbach Facebook)

2. FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE INJURED BALD EAGLE FROM BRANCH OVER OSWEGO RIVER

Oswego (Oregon) Fire Department crews helped rescue a bald eagle hanging from a branch after someone noticed that it appeared to be injured. Rescuers had to cut away a blanket from the eagle’s talon.

The river rescue was shared more than 120 times within hours of IHeartOswego posting the heroic tale. (Photo/IHeartOswego)
The river rescue was shared more than 120 times within hours of IHeartOswego posting the heroic tale. (Photo/IHeartOswego)

1. Photo: Dog thanks Colo. firefighter for saving his life

The Pueblo Fire Department pulled a dog from a structure fire and used resuscitation equipment donated by the Southern Colorado Kennel Club to revive the pooch. The dog gave Fire Engineer Phil Chapin a heartfelt thanks with many kisses.

We love happy endings! (Photo/Pueblo Fire Department Facebook)
We love happy endings! (Photo/Pueblo Fire Department Facebook)

Bonus animal news!

Although not rescue-related, there were some other important animal stories that made headlines in 2019 as well:

New NY law allows first responders to remove animals left in vehicles

Ind. FDs now have respirator masks for pets

Idaho bill would give first responders immunity for rescuing pets

Editor’s Note: Do you have a heartwarming animal rescue story? Share it in the comments below or at editor@firerescue1.com. We may use your photo in a Photo of the Week!

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