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Stray dog rescued from refrigerator
Firefighters are occasionally sent out on unusual animal rescues. It is just part of the job. But none may be more unusual than the animal rescue call Yuma firefighters responded to last week.
According to Mike Erfert, spokesman for the Yuma Fire Department, firefighters were sent to the El Encanto Apartments, 2652 S. 8th Ave., at about 8 p.m. on Friday regarding a dog stuck inside a refrigerator.
Once on scene, Erfert said the firefighters found a small terrier-type dog crouched on the bottom shelf of the apartment refrigerator, preventing the residents from closing the door.
Erfert said the apartment's residents told firefighters that the dog was a stray and that it rushed into their apartment when they opened their front door. They said they tried to catch the dog but, every time they tried, the dog would snap at them and attempt to bite them.
Unable to catch the dog, Erfert said they then planned to lure it outside using some food, but when they opened the refrigerator door, the dog jumped inside and they couldn't get the dog to come out.
Erfert said the residents, who have small children and were worried about them getting bit, originally called the Humane Society of Yuma, but was told it would be an hour or more before they could get an animal control officer there.
They then decided to call the Yuma Fire Department. Erfert said firefighters, while wearing their protective gear, were able to pick up the dog, which was snapping and attempting to bite them as well, and put it inside a dog carrier cage.
“One of the firefighters had a relative who lived close by who had a dog cage, and they were able to make it happen,” Erfert said of the rescue. “Firefighters could not remember a previous animal rescue from a refrigerator, but under the circumstances, this family's refrigerator was more accurately rescued from the animal.”
Erfert said firefighters were told by the Humane Society that the dog matched the description of a dog that was reported missing from the apartment complex. Firefighters then, based on information provided to them by the Humane Society, went to the owner's apartment to try and return the dog, but no one answered the door.
Firefighters then took the dog back to the station, where they tried to call the owner, but was not able to contact them before a animal control officer came by to pick the dog up.
Animal Control Sgt. Aaron Acton, of the Humane Society of Yuma, confirmed on Tuesday that the dog has since been returned to its owner.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.