CHARLOTTE, NC (Tara Kelleher/WBTV) - It's not a scene you see every day – a big, manly fireman snuggling a tiny, fluffy puppy. However, little Scout is more than comfortable in firefighter TJ Worrell's hands.
Worrell was one of the firefighters from Charlotte Fire Station 14 who responded to an animal in distress call on Saturday. When the first responders arrived, they found a 3-month-old puppy in some serious trouble.
Sweet little Scout had fallen down an air vent into the duct work under her family's home.
"I couldn't see her, I couldn't even hear her," said Dianne Bailey, the mom of the three-pound puppy. "And when I called the fire department, they came immediately."
The responders said they treated this call with urgency, just as they would any other call they get to the station.
"That's somebody's pet and that's a member of their family," said firefighter Tyler Huntley, who also helped free the tiny dog. "Any time we can help we're always glad to do it."
Bailey said when the rescuers arrived they acted without hesitation in order to help her dog. Two of the firefighters crammed themselves into the crawlspace and started work right away in an attempt to free the trapped pup.
"We actually heard the dog walking back and forth in the duct work," explained Huntley. "We just lifted up on either side of the duct work where the dog was and then cut with a knife on either side. Then we were able to reach inside the duct work and pull the dog out."
Today, the adorable black furball seemed quite pleased to be back in the hands of her rescuers.
Bailey says she is "so grateful" for the happy ending to this story, and even more to the firefighters who helped save her beloved Scout.
"I want everyone to know our first responders are heroes. They treat every incident equally, and that is something for which I will always be grateful."