Salt Lake City firefighters honored for saving dehydrated dog

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Several firefighters were honored, Saturday, for going above and beyond their call of duty.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Several firefighters were honored, Saturday, for going above and beyond their call of duty.

It was a rescue mission unlike any other.

"Truthfully, that was one of the most difficult carry-outs I've been a part of—human or dog!" said Mike Berry, a Salt Lake firefighter.

Salt Lake Fire Stations 5 and 10 heard someone's pets were in trouble and decided to take action.

"We're all purpose emergency servants as firefighters. We're not going to pick and choose what's a worthy cause. If we're on duty, we're going to serve, whether it be animals, humans—anybody in need," explained Capt. Joe Bush, with the Salt Lake City Fire Dept.

One dog was dead by the time the firefighters arrived. The other was in really bad shape.

"It was hard to get that 140 pound back to the trail. We had to carry it in a tarp—four person carried it—over slick rock and brush," said Bush.

But that did not stop them. These firefighters pushed through the 95-degree heat.

"Normally, they wouldn't have to do this, but again, they went above the call of duty, and they helped these animals," said Gene Baierschmidt, Director for the Humane Society of Utah.

The rescue took hours. The teams grew tired and thirsty but gave their own water to the dehydrated dog.

"The dog showed obvious emotions of being happy that we were there to help," said Bush.

That is why the Humane Society of Utah decided to honor the special heroes.

"These awards are small ways that we can express our gratitude," said Baierschmidt, as he presented a plaque to each station.

The Humane Society also plans to display the plaques in the facility's new dog kennels. Everyone involved says it is crucial that people learn from this experience.

"You don't want to lose your pet. It's better to leave them home if you're going out at the hot part of the day, and especially don't bring them out in the car during the hot part of the day," said Baierschmidt.
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