(ANIMAL RESCUE/VIDEO) Who doesn’t love a pet rescue story, especially when the hero is a dog? Leo, a lion-hearted Jack Russell mix, refused to leave four kittens in a burning house in Melbourne. See the firefighters who followed the little dog’s heroic lead to save him, and the kittens who still have all nine lives.
For Thanksgiving week in the US, Global Animal is running a series of favorite stories of pets and other animals who’ve earned our gratitude and awe. Each day, we’re profiling different stories of animal heroes who’ve rescued others. Keep connected – you’ll be grateful that you did. – Global Animal
So, without further adieu, here’s Leo, the little dog who saved the day…
Forget fighting like cats and dogs, this was more like fire-fighting. Family pooch Leo risked his life to save a litter of newborn kittens from flames engulfing a house and was hailed as a hero by Australian fire brigade.
Leo’s owners, a family of four, had escaped from their blazing home in Melbourne, with a second dog. But Leo, a jack russell cross, refused to leave the building. Believing one person unaccounted for, firemen entered the house, where they found him standing guard over the kittens despite the thick, acrid smoke.
Outside, Leo, who had lost consciousness and stopped breathing, was revived, with rescuers giving him oxygen and a heart massage. The kittens, in a cardboard box in a bedroom, also needed treatment.
Ken Brown, a fire service commander, said yesterday: “Leo wouldn’t leave the kittens, and it nearly cost him his life.” He said the family were relieved to be reunited with all their pets. “Everyone’s fine,” he said. “We rescued everyone.”
There was no smoke alarm in the house, and officials said the family was lucky to be alive. An 11-year-old girl suffered smoke inhalation and was treated by paramedics. She had been at home with her mother and two brothers, aged five and 18, when the fire started in the front room. The cause has not been established, but police are treating it as suspicious.
And Leo has a new nickname: Smoky.