It's a call you don't get every day as a Richmond firefighter. Firefighters are known for rescuing people in need but Friday morning, four Richmond firefighters actually helped out man's best friend.
Animal control officers found a litter of six puppies in a vacant Church Hill home but couldn't reach them. So they called the Richmond Fire Department for help.
Michael Braswell, Nathan Oyler, Lieutenant Mark Ryales and Tray Kenney didn't know how big or small the dogs would be until they got on scene.
"The crawl space they were in was small," said Oyler. "There was no access to it. The biggest challenge was cutting a hole in the floor."
That's exactly what the men did. Then animal control lifted the puppies out.
"Without the fire department's help we wouldn't have gotten to them," said Richmond Animal Care and Control field supervisor, Lieutenant Mark Wachner.
Lt. Wachner says animal control first became aware of the puppies when their mother wouldn't let parishioners inside a church next to the vacant home.
"The mother was being very protective," said Wachner. "She was trying to keep them from coming in or out."
Now they know why.
The folks at Richmond Animal Care and Control are caring for the puppies and say it will take about four to six weeks to get them ready for adoption.
Animal control officers are also searching for the puppy's mother, who wasn't at the home during the rescue.
Animal control also says the puppies' breed is hard to determine. They appear to be a lab mix but since their mom is wild, it's hard to say.
Meanwhile, a photo of the puppies with their rescuers has been shared almost 200 times on Facebook.
"It's not every day you get to save some puppies," said Firefighter Oyler.
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