Around one-fifth of the homes in Fort McMurray, in the Canadian province of Alberta, have been destroyed by a massive wildfire, officials said Sunday. And, on Monday, the media was to get its first good look at the destruction wrought by the blaze, which broke out earlier this month.
But late last week, as some of the city still burned, teams of volunteers defied officials’ orders and drove into the city, all to save residents’ pets, according to the CBC. The group, a bunch of self-described truck enthusiasts, had been helping to deliver fuel for first responders.
That’s when they “went rogue,” posting to Facebook and asking if they could help rescue any pets. They eventually brought about a dozen animals to safety, the CBC said, before police shut the group down.
Other groups have saved dozens more pets, according to CTV News.
Some of the animals were clearly scared, like a 10-year-old chihuahua mix that was cowering under a couch until it was coaxed out, having heard its owner’s voice on speakerphone.
At a different building, two trapped cats were scooped up in what one rescuer called a “total apocalypse area,” according to the CBC.
The pets were taken to reception centers outside the city, to be reunited with their owners.
“I don’t know who is going to be more excited, them or us,” one pet owner told the network.