In 16 years as a firefighter, Maple Ridge deputy fire chief Michael Van Dop has seen his share of animal rescues.
“We’ve had cats in trees and ducks down a drain,” Van Dop told Black Press Media.
“We do all sorts of interesting things.”
Sunday, June 14, however, was a first for Van Dop and several of the firefighters on duty.
A call came in around the noon hour that a dog had somehow become trapped inside a couch, and the owners were unable to extract it.
Firefighters arrived to find the dog in question was an extra-tiny pooch that had somehow managed to slip into a crack and ended up inside a recliner.
When one of the owners tried moving the chair back to help get the puppy out, it actually ended up making matters worse by pushing the dog in deeper, Van Dop related.
When the firefighters were done, the dog was free and no worse for wear, but the same couldn’t be said of the furniture.
“We ended up cutting the chair apart a bit,” Van Dop remarked.
A pleased group of firefighters were able to reunite the puppy with its grateful owners.
“It was a nice win for the guys,” Van Dop commented.
Other recent animal rescues by Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue have included two visits to help a horse that got stuck in a muddy pasture in January.
It took two and a half hours to get it up and walking the first time.
When it collapsed in a stall, the crew spent two hours and 45 minutes to get the horse moving again.
One firefighter was kicked in the shins by the horse during the rescue but did not require a trip to hospital.
In February, Maple Ridge firefighters rescued a Labrador-collie cross that was swept into a culvert in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Fire chief Howard Exner said that rescue took around three hours.