Heroic dog leads 900 sheep to safety during Australian wildfires
A heroic dog who saved hundreds of sheep amid the wildfires in Australia is capturing global attention because of her bravery.
Over a billion animals have died in Australia due to the bushfires that have been ravaging the country since September. Disasters of this magnitude require that the victims receive all the help that they can get, and that is exactly what the community in Australia and other parts of the world are doing.
Even some animals are turning out to be the saviors of their fellow animals. One of them is Patsy, a 6-year-old border collie and kelpie mix from Corryong, Victoria. According to her owner, Stephen Hill, the heroic dog has been instrumental in saving the lives of 900 sheep on his farm.
The fire began to close in on the small Victorian town during the early hours of New Year’s Eve. Despite the heat and danger, Patsy sprang into action to make sure that the farm and livestock were protected in the face of the oncoming fire. Working alongside her dad – who used a tractor with a water tank to keep the flames that were creeping close to the property at bay – Patsy herded the large flock away from where the blaze was headed into the safest paddock in the area.
Stephen’s sister, Cath Hill, shared the story of Patsy’s courageous act in an interview with Bored Panda.
“For Patsy, funnily enough the fires don’t really make much of a difference!!! She’s a border collie/kelpie cross, so she’s a working dog through and through. These dogs have been bred for generations to develop their ability to work with sheep and cattle on farms, and they are very intelligent and resilient animals. They love to work, it’s just what they are bred to do, and they can be very focused and singleminded on the job! So when my brother needed Patsy to help bring the sheep into safety, that’s exactly what she did. She just got on with her job and did it, regardless of the conditions. Cool, calm, and collected.”
Because of Stephen and Patsy’s teamwork, the pair were able to save all but a handful of sheep. Except for a few sheds, all the buildings in the property were spared from the fire. His owner admitted that he wouldn’t have done all of it without his loyal companion.
“I’d have been stuffed without Patsy,” Stephen told SBS News. “She’s earned front-seat privileges for the rest of her life.”
Cath hopes that by getting Patsy’s story out, more people will be encouraged to help however they can. In these disastrous times, it seems like there is not much to celebrate. But through this heroic dog’s story, she hopes that the community will realize that there is still much to be grateful for and most importantly, that there is still hope.