A fire broke out in the middle of the night at a cat sanctuary in Laredo, Texas, but all of the cats were saved thanks to the swift and daring acts of an animal control officer.
For the past 11 years, Jose E. Aranda has worked for the city of Laredo, most recently as an animal control officer. He became a local hero four months after starting his new job.
He came to the Laredo Animal Care Services cat shelter about 10 p.m. one evening and observed smoke coming from the roof. He ran into the blazing structure after calling the fire department.
Aranda told the Laredo Morning Times, “I proceeded to open the door and noticed a bunch of cats there, so I started freeing the cats before they got burned.”
Hundreds of cats had been imprisoned in stainless steel cages and needed to be set free. To save their lives, Aranda risked the heavy smoke and scorching heat.
The fire brigade arrived and put out the flames as Aranda was brought to the hospital for smoke inhalation treatment.
There were no human or animal deaths.
The city of Laredo wanted to express their gratitude for Aranda’s bravery, so they awarded him with a certificate of appreciation. The hero expressed his gratitude for the safety of all 45 cats and encouraged people to adopt them.
“I adore what I do.” “I don’t think I would have gone in to save these animals if I were another person,” he stated. “I might have simply waited outside until they (the fire department) arrived, and only God knows what might have happened to those animals.”