Rural/Metro Fire Department receives PETA award for rescuing puppies
For its dogged determination in rescuing a litter of five beagle puppies from inside a concrete irrigation pipe over the weekend, the Rural/Metro Fire Department has received PETA's Compassionate Fire Department Award.
“These firefighters showed a lot of know-how and compassion in saving the lives of these five lucky puppies,” said Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Yuma is very fortunate to have first responders who are ready to protect and serve not only human residents but also homeless dogs.”
The department received a letter of appreciation for the incident on Thursday from PETA and is also being sent a framed certificate.
Rural/Metro firefighters Capt. Curt Calaway, firefighter/EMT Derek Teeter and firefighter/EMT Sean Snyder rescued the five beagle puppies from a irrigation pipe in the 3100 block of 5th Street on Sunday.
Charly McMurdie, public information officer for Rural/Metro, said the fire department's appreciates PETA for recognizing its firefighters and the work they do to help animals.
According to a previous article, the property's owner had set up a trap to catch the mother of the puppies after she attacked him last week. He finally caught her that Sunday morning.
When he went to check the trap, he heard the litter of puppies and realized that they were inside an irrigation pipe near the back of his property.
When Rural/Metro dispatchers Melissa Velasquez and Brandy McCleaf received the property owner's call, they wasted no time sending firefighters to the scene.
After pulling one puppy from the pipe by using a citrus picker taped to the top of a Pike pole, the firefighters decided the safest course of action for the other puppies, since they were about 25 feet inside, would be to cut a hole in the top of the pipe to pull them out.
They first has to promise the property owner that they would repair the pipe when they were done.
Once the remaining four puppies were out, the puppies and the mother beagle were turned over to the Humane Society of Yuma to be checked out and cared for. The firefighters repaired the pipe as promised.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.