Firefighters from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Station in Maryland found a mascot that's way more adorable (and likely more even-tempered) than a Dalmatian on Tuesday when they rescued a baby fox (eep!) that was trapped in a storm drain, wailing for its mom. It was all very Fox and Hound, minus Copper, the farm, and that whole climactic bear fight. So, really, it was just Tod, being completely adorable and endearing himself to a bunch of firefighters.
The Baltimore Sun reported that a team of firefighters in Harford County, Md. heard the desperate yipping of a kit trapped in a storm drain. For anyone who's ever heard a small mammal in distress, those sounds are (by natural design) heart-wrenching. A press release made after the fox rescue explained that the Joppa-Magnolia firefighters are "tasked with protecting lives, not just human," which is a really wonderful way of saying that they just had to stop and free the baby fox from certain doom.
The rescue proceeded apace:
The crew received a call at about 10 p.m., and found the pup in a storm drain in the 1700 block of Melwood Court.
"Firefighters donned their protective firefighting suits, climbed down a ladder and rescued the fox," the station said. "Once the fox was placed on the ground, it was noted that the animal walked with a limp and appeared to have an injured leg."
The firefighters called Harford County Animal Control, the state Department of Natural Resources and "several local and regional veterinarians," with no luck.
So, with "the animal's health being in jeopardy," they took the pup back to the station and embarked on "an extensive online campaign" to use the Internet "to find help."
The firefighters-turned-fox nannies finally reached an employee at the Chadwell Animal Hospital, who gave them advice about how to care for the baby fox. Pierce, as the firefighters named the fox, was transported to Chadwell early Wednesday morning. He'll be treated there until he can be moved to the Phoenix Wildlife Center, where he can presumably regale other foxes with tales of his hardscrabble youth. The firefighters flirted with the idea of keeping the fox, but decided that an adult fox would be a bad influence on their community.