Pup saves kittens from fire!

Most peeps would push others out the way during a fire, but not this pup. He stayed behind to make sure the kittens trapped inside got out safely.

Jump over to Yahoo!/AP to see the story.



Thanks to all the rubberneckers who sent this one in, especially Berthaservant!



  1. (the original) Mel says:

    I saw this story. What a brave puppersons!

  2. First, the shiba inu pupfest, now this — are you trying to kill all the CO peeps!!! what a wonderful guy Leo is – and the firemen who revived him.

  3. Such a beautiful story! I just saw the video and cried when they carried the puppeh out of the house! Such a brave doggie!

  4. O huzzah for Leo! (Those kitties are teeny – where is Mama?)

  5. What a good dad! And Yay! for the Melbourne fire department for saving everybody!

  6. I was gonna send it too, but figured it would show up here! Hooray for doggies. Specially brave ones.

    [That’s cool, thanks. But for all you American CO Peeps, don’tcha go & skip VOTING because you figure somebody else will! 😉 – Ed.]

  7. scooterpants says:

    the super-concerned look!
    the spit-shined kittehs!
    its too much, how adorable!

  8. This puppy is my hero!!! I hope he gets lots of treats and cuddles to thank him.

  9. Yeah, I knew this would find its way to C.O. pretty quick. Gooooooood doggie!

  10. I’m one of the sender-inners. But I’m also wondering where mama is, those kittens are too small to be without mum.

  11. I love you, Leo!

    Lots of love to the Melbourne firefighters, too. That story totally teared me up.

  12. fish eye no miko says:

    OOooh! How sweet! [watches video, gets the sniffles]

    And, yeah, where is the mama? Odd…

  13. Maybe mama wasn’t so lucky… 😦 barooo! But hopefully she’s just scared away by all the hubbub and came out after the fire trucks and TV crews left. We don’t have the phrase “Scaredy-cat” for nuttin’, ya know!

  14. What happened to mama kitty?

  15. That story is so sweet and heartwarming. I love the part near the end of the video of teh puppeh kissing teh kittehs. You’re going to be fine with that puppeh lookin’ out for you kittersons.

  16. i want the teensy weensy marmy one!
    oh darn, i’m in michigan, they’re in australia…
    YaY for leo and the firefighters!!

  17. YAY Leo! What a good pupper!


  19. I almost cried when he was licking his little kitten buddies at the end.
    Such sweet story.

  20. Sahrawi Wife says:

    YAY for hero Leo !!! (Watches video and again and cries and smiles some more)

  21. He is a GOOD DOG! Yes he is! Yes he is! He can have as many ear rubs and meaty biscuits as he wants! He should be the toast of Melbourne.
    It is so lovely to see that animals are capable of such brave, generous altruism. Even without being able to think deeply about the situation or anticipate the likely outcome as a human being could, he knew the kittens couldn’t protect themselves, and wanted them to be okay. That was more important than his own fear or self-interest. That’s virtue, right there.

  22. I vote for Leo then, Ed.

  23. WOW! Animals like this continually blow me away! Great pup!

  24. OMG!!!!

    MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION was to get a submish on C.O.

    First Meg’s genius post from earlier, and now this. I’m gonna go buy lottery tickets!!!

    (And the best part is the kittehs survived thanks to the doggeh!!!)

  25. Hooray for brave dogs and hero firefighters! Hooray for safe kittens! (fights back tears).

  26. momof2kitties says:

    Doggeh for Prez!!! Endorsed by kittehs everywhere!

  27. They found mama later according to one of the papers. She got lost in the chaos initially.

    Again, this reminds me of the just departed Scarlett who pulled her babies from certain death.

    And yes, check your smoke detectors on a regular basis folks!

  28. so sweet 🙂

  29. According to this, http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4740050a4560.html, mama made it too!

  30. I cried when I saw this story on the news.

    Thank God for you, McPupperkins. Bless your absolutely golden heart!

  31. schmaaawwwwwwwwww!

  32. Oh, I knew better than to watch a news article like this during *that time of the month*…. WAAAAAHHH! *sniff*

  33. Amen, Teho (and/or Meg and/or NTMTOM)!

    A moral this doggend inherently understands, and one which we humans should ALL take to heart and act upon:

    If not you– who?
    If not now– when?

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

    VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (“like a baby stoat,” etc…)

    ALSO… be a hero whenever possible. Saving kittehs is good.


  34. Seeing stories like this makes me cry! That pup deserves a ten room doghouse and a golden frisbee in doggie heaven someday! OH! And a crystal toilet to drink from!

  35. Awesome, pup, awesome!
    Gooood doggie.

  36. P.S. Oh, J.Bo, you too? Every time I think “vote” now, my brain cannot help but tack on ” -like a baby stoat!”
    It’s insidious qteness!
    P.P.S. I voted!

  37. How about “Vote vote vote, like a legally naturalized stoat”?

  38. (because, y’know, I can’t help but wonder how many American stoats there are, 18 years or older, with no felony convictions on record, AND registered in their district)

    (do NOT get me started on that “Rock the Stoat” fiasco)

  39. I was waiting for this story to hit CO!

    What a brave little soul he is! So glad to hear he was able to fight his way back to life.. *wiping a tear again*

    What a story to tell the grand-kittehs later on! 😉

  40. knightofmonarch says:

    The brown eyes , the damp nose . The look of determination on his face – GO LEO !

  41. oh lawds sake, when i saw the limp dog in the firefighter’s hand i thought it was too late, then i saw the dog licking the kitties in the box at the end. oh i hope the dog really is okay and so are the kitties. it would be nice to have a follow-up in a few months just to make sure everyone is still okay and did not suffer lasting effects from what obviously was heavy smoke inhalation.

    *runs to check smoke detector batteries*

  42. Woot! I was tewtelly a sender-inner-er-er….*ahem* I saw this on the Sunday night news and KNEW it had to be reported, stat.

    I especially love the little chest compression / Oxygen mask efforts of the fireys. Ahn. And then puppers comes back to us and drinks about eleventy gallons of water by the looks of him.


  43. Awww, what a good lil’ puppeh! Head pats and belleh rubs all around!

  44. I thought the story was going to be that he had carried the kitties out of the house.

  45. Hoorah for the pup and for the fire brigade! This totally made me cry.

  46. OMG!!!!!

    I’m crying! I love, love, love Leo and the firefighters.

    It seems like it would be so easy for the firefighters to concentrate their efforts on the human victims in a fire, and have the animals come second.

    But they NEVER do. Not ever. They always save the animals if they can. And administer CPR and oxygen if needed. Even mouth to mouth!

    Firefighters are THE BEST!!!

    And Leo is the cutest!

  47. OwnedByCats says:

    I’m impressed by the dog who stuck it out with the kittens, BUT, I am NOT the slightest bit impressed with the humans who fled the building without their four legged companions. Everyone in my complex knows that if the building I live in goes up in flames, I’m not leaving until my four cats are safe. We all get out together or the firemen will be coming in after all five of us. Call me a crazy cat lady if you must. I don’t care. My little feline pride is worth it to me.

  48. I heart heroic pup Leo. Yay!

  49. I’m with the OwnedByCats lady.
    Why didn’t the humans get all their pets out. My cats come first!

  50. That’s a question worth asking yourself. If your fire alarm goes off, what’s your plan? How do you get your four-legged friends out as well as your family?

  51. Ummm…while I, too, would endeavor to rescue my kitties, the people in this house clearly had children to take care of, so I’m willing to cut them a bit of slack (and they did manage to rescue another dog while getting out).

    And I echo:


  52. Further proof of why I love dogs so much.

    (not that I don’t like cats, natch)

  53. Oh my goodness, what a true angel!! God Bless you, Leo!! *hugs him* He risked his life to save those kittens! Aww, my goodness, not even many humans would do that!! So fantastic!! <3

  54. I pray mom cat got out okay and is with her kittens.

    This dog gets an honorary approval for this.

  55. AuntieMame says:

    If there is a fire, get out. You won’t do your pets a lick of good if you die trying to rescue them.

  56. I wish I could see the video, but all I get is that !@#$ Creststrips commercial. How do you view it?

  57. Silent Meow says:

    This doggie should be the next American President. I wonder if I could write him in on the ballot? He’d make quite the leader!

  58. Silent Meow says:

    Maybe if you keep using the Creststrips, your teeth will get so white and shiny that you’ll be able to view the video off the reflection on your teeth. And, while you’re at it, your bright, white, shiny teeth could help steer ships in at sea. LOL

  59. I was a sender inner too. Yay I sorta got a submish on I guess it counts.

    Nancy you have to wait for the commercial to be over. this is the price of “Free” Videos.
    Pup is an awesome awesome hero… Please don’t judge teh people escaping the fire you do not know what they had to do to get out and yes we all want to get our pets out of the fire but you have to get you out too. sometimes there is just not enough time. a house can go to flash point in just a couple of minutes and visibility can be down to 0 in a mater of seconds.
    Thank goodness all survived.

  60. Ohhh and I forgot to say Yay Berthaservant for getting a submishion on CO. W00T!

  61. I love how the firemen go out of their way to re-assure Leo that “his babies” are A-okay. That shot with them holding the box up to Leo for him to see and lick is just something else. (face crumbles)

  62. Yay for the good doggie!

    As for saving pets from fires, I read somewhere that you can safely carry small pets out of the house in a pillowcase. Supposedly they can still breathe from inside, and it eliminates the scratching or biting that might come from a freaked-out furry friend, and which might cause you to drop them if you just hand-carried them. (How you get them *into* the pillowcase is another matter.)

    Does anyone know if this is true?

  63. Sounds sensible, especially if you have a kitty or small doggie who is easily scared; the pillowcase would be like a breathing mask, especially if you kept close to the floor. I know my kitties might need to be at least wrapped up in a towel if there were something as scary as a fire!

    Whatever the case, I can’t imagine leaving without my pets. Although if the owners were away when the fire started, the firefighters would not let them back in I think? Soooo glad the kittens and brave pupper got out!!

  64. Raemie L. says:

    What a relief seeing the doggeh licking one of the kittens at the end, even tho I knew ahead that doggeh was conscious and okay after the oxygen was administered. Good doggeh!

  65. totalee puppy says:

    Thanks, Berthaservant, and
    congrats on getting your post on CO! It’s one of the
    best posts I’ve seen. It’s
    very special to see such
    interspecies kindness. Leo,
    you deserve to have a school named in your honor….W00T!

  66. AuntieMame says:

    Nancy, I had the same problem when I clicked on the photos, but when I clicked on the “Jump over to Yahoo!/AP to see the story” text link at the top, it worked.

  67. Raemie L. says:

    *sigh* “Even though”, not “even tho”… d’oh.

  68. I love heartwarming stories like this – there are many stories of pets out there who have saved their owners from house fires and other emergencies, but a dog saving kittens – or any animal saving an animal of another family is especially heartwarming to me.

  69. This story is especially poignant because it’s almost as if this heroic little dog was sent to carry on the legacy of Scarlett, the cat who rescued her kittens from a horrific fire in a NYC warehouse years ago. As was mentioned, Scarlett died last week, and now we have Leo carrying out a virtually identical rescue within days of Scarlett’s passing.

    Good job, Leo.

    Rest in peace, Scarlett.

  70. so that family of @$$whumps were gonna let the kittens die?

  71. Jess, have you ever been in that situation? If not, you can’t judge. If the smoke detector goes off you have between 5 and 20 seconds on average before the smoke typically becomes lethal in the room on fire. Seconds, not minutes. And it just takes a little bit longer for the smoke to become lethal in the neighboring rooms.

    So the difference between death and survival is maybe 30 seconds. That’s to wake up, recognize the situation, worry about your family, suppress the panic, decide on a way to grap your family and on a way out. Pets? Sure, if you can grap them on your way out. What good are you to your family if you die trying to grab the family cat?

    Go to your local fire department’s web site. Look up the page on fire prevention in homes. Follow the advice. That is the best you can do for your family, and for the pets.

  72. leanbeans says:

    Hey I live in Melbourne and didn’t even hear about this! Very cutee and heartwarming, *sniffles* I heart Leo the wonder dog.

  73. It sounds to me like the dog didn’t so much save the kittens as just stay with them in the fire. Brave, noble but not actually helpful. Happily for all, the firemen found them.

  74. Yay! In my home town!

    I saw a firetruck go past last night. (Heading towards Croydon on Mt Dandenong Rd.)

  75. ButtaRumCake says:

    Wow, Jess, could you be any more…. hmmm, what’s the adjective I’m thinking of…?


    Good grief! Did it dawn on you that maybe the owners weren’t home when this all went down? Maybe the fire started in the room where the humans were & weren’t ABLE to get to their pets. Fires can go up & out of control in a matter of seconds.
    Why not be thankful that they all survived (even mama cat)???


  76. AuntieMame says:

    Seriously, people. The fire department states clearly you are not to endanger yourself even for your human children. If you can’t reach them quickly and easily, get yourself out and let the firefighters do the dangerous rescuing. As I (and others) have stated, when you’re DEAD, you can’t care for your kids or your pets. So don’t take any stupid risks.

  77. I can’t get the video to work, but this story itself just melts my heart. So sweet!!

  78. I hope mammy cat was okay 😦 any news?

  79. janos- if you want pets you must be responsible and have worked out an emergency plan earlier so that scenario won’t occur. it’s not just ‘well i’ll have you and play with you but in an emergency you’re screwed’ can’t have a plan, don’t have living things in your home.

  80. ButtaRumCake-i read the article and was given no impression that nobody was home since it said they were calling for the dog but he would not answer. granted accidents and horrible things do happen without our control, but my bottom line is that if you are going to have living breathing creatures you must take the precautions and responsibility to do everything to ensure their safety (that includes family fire safety plans) and yes i guess i am being um whats the word INSENSITIVE toward people who don’t see that.

  81. AuntieMame-again, if you have a fire safety plan there will be no “risk”

  82. And the best laid plans will sometimes come to naught.

    You can have every safety plan in the world, and things can happen that are completely out of your control, leading to the inability of your plan to work.

  83. First i must join in the ear-rubbing, belly-scratching, treat-giving, “Good Doggie!” gang.

    Secondly, i send a prayer of thanks to the firefighter who brought that dog back.

    Heroes all around! =0)

  84. AuntieMame says:

    Um, jess…how do you teach your kittens the fire safety plan???

    As ButtaRumCake clearly explained, when there is a fire, you don’t have leisure to run all over the house to round up all your pets. You don’t know the exact situation at this family’s house. For all you know, there was too much smoke to permit them to find and rescue the kittens safely.

    So don’t make ignorant judgments and sling insults at people when you do not know the whole story.

  85. catloveschanel says:

    Right now, I’m listening to my co-workers go “ooooooh”

  86. Auntiemame- seriously? you don’t teach them the plan you make them a part of the exit strategy. i made no ignorant judgments, i read the story and posed an unanswered question. granted i called them a smart@$$ name, but my argument still stands that when you become a pet owner you have to make certain agreements. these animals are in our home by our choices so we owe it to them make them a priority in the home. and yes (i’ll state again what i stated ABOVE) i agree, sometimes no matter what the perfect plan is accidents/catastrophes do occur. but seriously we are just going to have to lay this to rest, it’s quite old now.

  87. AuntieMame says:

    Right, whatever. You make your pronouncements and the rest of us should shut up because you’re tired of it. Whatever.

    These people, for all any of us know, HAD a fire safety plan. So maybe none of your criticisms are valid.

    Now I’VE had the last word, and I think YOU should let it go.

  88. The Other One Michelle says:

    Whatever. This is a cute story, nuffs come out, same old. I was in a fire, my entire apartment complex burned down. There is nothing, nothing, even a well thought out plan of escape, that can prepare you for it unless you’re in it. I didn’t have my dogs then, didn’t have my kids then, can tell you if I did I’d make a beeline for the kids’ rooms and hope the dogs could follow me out. Unless you’ve been in a fire, stop with the judging and name calling.

  89. Why are the biggest nuffers the worst typers?

  90. @Theo
    I’m a bit late, but . . .

    So I’d like to know where
    You got the stoat-shun
    Said I’d like to know where
    You got the stoat-shun

    (Rock the stoat)
    Don’t rock the stoat, baby
    (Rock the stoat)
    Don’t tip the stoat over
    (Rock the stoat)
    Don’t rock the stoat, baby
    (Rock the stoooooaaatttt)

    That is all.

  91. I lost it when I saw the pup unconscious in the firefighters arms. I mean I knew he was ok, but just seeing him helpless like that, knowing he tryed to help those kittens, and then the great firemen giving him oxygen… UGH god…. made me tear up.

  92. Daphne Moss says:

    Soooo glad this all turned out, and didn’t know until I read it here about passing of Scarlett, the hero cat. I love her!
    I agree with all who would love a visit with kittens and leo and mama cat…

  93. I let my cats have free roam of the house at night so if there’s a fire i’m guessing they’d be freaked out and hiding somewhere. The chances of my finding them would be slim, i’m fairly certain of that, unfortunately. Especially once that alarm goes off. Unless you keep your cats locked up somewhere, you might not know exactly where they are when the time comes, and as others have stated, there’s hardly time to get yourself out safely, much less time to go searching under beds and in closets for hiding pets. Sadly. As good a fire safety plan may be, pets are just too unpredictable. Unless, like I said, they’re locked up in a small area.

  94. And to the person who said they’re staying with their pets and the firemen will have to rescue them all or none of them…Please remember these firemen are risking their lives every time they go into a fire rescue situation. You would be putting these men, and by extention yourself and your animals, at greater risk by choosing to stay in a burning building thereby forcing them to have to make more rescues in the same limited amount of time. The best thing you could do for your animals would be to get yourself out, freeing the firemen to focus entirely on rescuing your animals with the short time they have available to enter your home before it’s engulfed. If they have to rescue you too, they WILL get you first and may have to end up leaving a pet behind because they ran out of time, or smoke overtook the pet because the firemen were busy with you first.

  95. my home was on fire a few years bac…my children were 1st out…i went bak in 3 times w/ my shirt over my face to save my 2 ferrets, 2 cats & dog- never leave family behind! the fact that the humans didnt save those poor kittens is disgusting. GOOD BOY PUPPY!!!

  96. oh, and junior had it not been 4 me saving my “animals” they would not be here 2day. by the time the fire department arrived, our home was completely engulfed. animals know when “mommy” is trying 2 save them, especially when they know they are loved. my cats were hiding, but they came out when they heard me call. all 8 of my children are alive 2day, simply because i love them.

  97. AuntieMame says:

    Jelly, did you read ANYTHING the posters before you wrote.

    You and your animals are alive today because you took a foolish chance and you’re lucky the fire didn’t kill you all.

  98. I always had a plan in the back of my head for that what if situation until the night the firealarm went off for my entire apartment building and had to implement it. Three cats and me. First threw on my clothes (okay so I’m a prude) then freaked because I had just lent out my carrier (the big one) so one carrier and 3 cats (one of the cats is about 17 pounds). Okay there is a big plastic tub with lid,dump that out grab cat number one – into the tub (where is that lid??) grab cat number 2 throw in the carrier and then corner cat number 3 (after falling on the floor fan) and throw him in the tub then sling the strap for the carrier over my neck with my purse grab the tub and run! Put the cats in the car (did I mention it was raining) and start crying because no matter how much you think it won’t happen it does and couldn’t think about loosing any of the babies. They sat in that car and the tub for 4 hours before we got the all clear from the fire department to go back in. The next day I promptly went out and bought 2 new carriers with straps and called my friend and told them I needed my carrier back. I was pleased to note that I was not the only one in my building focusing on the getting the animals out (no kids in that building just adults at that time). You never know what your going to do until it happens and then – and I dare anyone to say any different – you run on instinct, whatever that instict is. If your instinct is to protect your family than you get them out and no one says – what a stupid human you are – if you don’t have family except for animals and you get them out the same way you would human family members you shouldn’t be considered a stupid human for following that instinct.