California Firefighters Rescue Puppies From Den Blocked by Tortoise

San Bernardino County firefighters came to the rescue of two puppies that got trapped in an underground tortoise den for hours on Sunday, June 19.

The two five-month-old puppies had found themselves blocked in the den by a 100 lb tortoise camped at the exit, San Bernardino County Fire (SBCF) said. Residents had told the firefighters the dogs had been in the den for hours and were silent.

In footage posted by the fire department, firefighters can be seen unsuccessfully trying to coax the tortoise, named Oscar, out of the den with some watermelon. Eventually, a decision was made to dig an access hole to rescue the pups.

After an hour of digging crews pulled the puppies out of the den, SBCF said.

“Peo and Finn were unharmed and happy to reunite with their dog mom Kathleen," SBCF said. Credit: San Bernadino County Fire via Storyful

Video transcript

- OK, we're going to report of a bunch of puppies stuck in a tortoise den down the street from the station over here on the Mesa at Napa Valley. OK, let's see if we can find some food for it and see if we can coax it out of this hole. OK. OK, he's coming towards me.

- I think we got through.

- Come on, you can do it. Come on, Po. You can do it. You can get around it now. Come on, Po. Come on, baby.

- Come on, dog.

- Oh, there you go.

- Come on, pup.


- All right. Hi, puppy. Hi.

- Here we go. Here we go, buddy. Go to mama. Go to mama.

- Atta boy.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. Atta boy

- Good boy. Good boy.

- We got this one if you want to grab that one.

- Good boy. Good boy. Come on. Come on, buddy. Good boy. Come on.

- What are their names?

- Po, Fanne, and Oscar.

- Oscar because he used to live in the trash can before I rescued him.

- Oscar the Grouch.

- All right. Well, we're happy that they're all safe.

- Good story.

- Thanks, Kathleen.

- Thank you. Oh my God.

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