Motley Zoo pups Reggie Mantle, Debra Tunney, and Archie Andrews gazed up at the three firefighters standing before them, shivering as a cold breeze swept into the fire station. But once they were warm and safe in the firefighters’ arms, their shivering subsided, replaced by smiles, snuggles, and their attempts at stealing kisses. Motley Zoo kitty Apollonia, who has mobility issues and uses a fire engine red wheelchair, was happy to show the firefighters how she uses her wheels.
Firefighter Kerry Doran, 29 who has been with the Bellevue Fire Department for six years, has two dogs of his own and always wanted to be a firefighter. “My great grandfather was a firefighter in Seattle,” he explained.
Firefighter Cass Monroe, 30, has been with the Bellevue Fire Department for six months. He first started as a volunteer and after earning a degree in EMT Science, he later secured an official position with the department.
Lieutenant Christopher Marsh, 52, has been with the Bellevue Fire Department for 21 years. He has two dogs, two cats, and two fish. Christopher, who grew up in Hawaii, had a life-changing experience when he was a child. When he was only eight, a wildland fire was raging near his house. He was placed on a roof with a garden hose to try to help spray down the embers. He was hooked.
Kerry, Cass, and Christopher are animal lovers who were willing to help Reggie, Debra and Archie find loving homes. They may get hazed a bit by fellow firefighters for appearing on the cover of Pet Connection Magazine, but they felt that it was a worthy cause. And the Bellevue Fire Department is no stranger to rescuing animals. They’ve saved half a dozen baby ducks from a pool system after heavy rains, pulling the grate off just as the ducklings were about to drown. They’ve also helped extricate a horse from the mud.
Christopher said: “If we arrive at a home fire and know that there’s an animal in the home, we’ll tell our crew, ‘Be advised: there’s a cat.’ Then we’ll be searching for people and for the cat, too.”
Often, advisory stickers alert them to the presence of animals in the home. “Nine out of ten times, we’ll notice that,” Christopher said. Christopher has also resuscitated a cat with a pediatric mask when he was in paramedic school, but typically, those who need their services are humans with medical emergencies.
“Seventy-five percent of what we do is responding to medical calls and emergency medicine,” Kerry said.
While smoke detectors need to be checked often, the trio of firefighters noted that animals often tell their families that there’s danger.
“Animals are often the first to alert people to a fire; it could be the dog or cat who tells you that something’s amiss,” Christopher said.
And if you do have a fire? They advised having a plan in place and a “rally point” to meet up. If there’s a smoky environment, they advised getting out immediately and then allowing firefighters to enter the residence with breathing apparatuses.
Kerry added: “We’re pet owners, too. We look for them.”
If you are interested in adopting Apollonia, Reggie Mantle, Debra Tunney, or Archie Andrews, please contact Motley Zoo!