Body cameras were rolling as police and volunteers raced to save 60 dogs and cats before wildfires consumed a California SPCA animal shelter.
On Friday, Vacaville Police in California were on a race against time to save some of their most precious residents as The Nelson Fire, a wildfire that burned through 2,162 acres between Fairfield and Vacaville in Solano County, threatened to consume the Solano SPCA and dozens of dogs and cats trapped inside.
Police had been tracking the wildfire’s trajectory and forced an immediate evacuation of the Solano SPCA, leaving volunteers no time to rescue some 60 dogs and cats inside.
But, when it became apparent that the SPCA building was at serious risk of being engulfed in the flames, police rushed to the shelter to bring the animals to safety.
Body cameras worn by the heroic officers showed them frantically grabbing animals from their kennels, placing them safely in crates and police cruisers as thick smoke and the red glow of flames loomed in the background.
In the footage, a female officer is seen putting a leash on a dog and leading the canine to her cruiser where she praises the “good dog” for jumping into the back seat. Another dog was frightened, but the officer told him “let’s go for a ride,” before scooping him up and placing him in the cruiser. Amidst the chaos, she remembered to reassure each animal that they were safe and being good.
While police made every attempt to rescue all 60 animals from the shelter, some cats remained in another building. A shelter volunteer ignored evacuation orders and illegally entered the building to rescue the cats.
Miraculously, the fire stopped short – about 25 yards away – from engulfing the shelter. But, not before knocking out power and water to the building, destroying many of the shelter’s refrigerated medications and vaccines. Thankfully, all 60 animals were taken to safety and were housed in foster homes until the shelter reopened Sunday.