Police Service Dog Hix was out for his evening walk and enjoying some down-time with his partner, when he sniffed out something on the side of a remote, rural road and took off.
Const. Taylor Burns with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Hix were out on their daily exercise on a country dirt road in Manitoba when Hix’s nose caught a scent. It was dark out and temperatures were below zero on the windy, snowy night. Burns immediately followed Hix to a spot with what looked like a lump of ice.
“It looked like a ball of ice that had fallen off a truck,” Burns told CBC News. “I told him to leave it but he kept standing over it.”
Burns beamed his headlamp on the spot and was surprised to see a pair of eyes looking back at him. Then he heard a faint meow.
Hix had found a tiny near-frozen kitten! And not just one. Burns bent over to pick up the near-frozen kitten when he noticed another. He told the Canadian newscaster that when he looked around some more, he spotted a blanket and a bowl of cat food, and two more kittens, who had sadly already perished.
So Burns bundled up the surviving kittens and brought them home. Burns said that he called a vet office immediately and though they were closed, there was a recording with instructions for how to help pets suffering from exposure.
He wrapped the kittens up in warm blankets, gave them some food and water and placed them near a heater vent. The next day he brought them to work to see if anyone could help care for them.
Andrea Shaffer, a coworker of Burns, volunteered and took the two kittens home. They got checked over by a vet and are “going to be perfectly fine” she wrote on Facebook. Sadly, she can’t keep the cats, but wants to find a good home for the two together.
“It breaks my heart but we are not able to keep them,” she wrote. “I would like to give them to a good home and ideally keep them together.”
As for Hix, he got some extra treats for his heroics. Although Hix normally sniffs out narcotics, the very curious dog can now add cat rescuer to his resume.