When calamity hits, it frequently brings out the best in people, and many amazing heroes display incredible fortitude in the face of adversity.
Many unsung warriors risked their lives and paws to save others from the devastating flames raging across Australia.
Patsy, an Austrian sheepdog mix, is one of these heroes. Stephen Hill owns Patsy and works on his cousin’s sheep farm in Corryong, Victoria, about 220 miles southwest of Canberra, Austria.
When Stephen arrived at his cousin’s property at 4:15 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, he discovered it was engulfed in red-hot flames. He realized he’d have to move quickly to stop the sheep from being burned alive.
He and his dog, Pasty, jumped on a four-wheeler and headed toward the flock of sheep in the midst of the flying embers and smoke. Despite the danger, Pasty rose to the occasion and bravely performed her duties, herding the sheep to safety.
Pasty and Stephen herded the flock of 220 sheep as swiftly as they could to the barn and away from danger. They were able to save all but six lambs thanks to Patsy’s bravery.
“You can’t accomplish anything with the sheep if you don’t have a good dog,” Hill told NBC News. “Unless you have a decent dog, they’re quite impossible to move in any manner, shape, or form.”
The destruction in Australia has been terrible to date. According to Chris Dickman, an ecology professor at the University of Sydney, the fires have killed 27 humans and affected an estimated 1 billion animals.
Patsy’s talent and night vision, according to Hill, were key to their mission’s success. He claimed that without her by his side, he would not have been able to save the sheep.