Firefighters don’t just save people from burning buildings — they’ve also risked their lives countless times to help animals as well. So when firefighters from the Colorado Springs Fire Department were called out to pull puppies from a storm drain earlier this month, they were probably expecting a pretty straightforward rescue mission. But they were in for a big surprise when the “puppies” turned out to be something else!

Fire Captain Brian Vaughan told Inside Edition that officials believed there were newborn black Labrador puppies in a storm drain, and that someone had dumped them there. One firefighter was recorded pulling at least eight of the tiny babies out and carefully placing them onto a nearby shirt.

When the rescue had finished 20 minutes later and the firefighters took the litter to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, however, they were stunned to hear the pups weren’t actually dogs at all.

“They took them [to the shelter] and actually one of the vets in that location said, ‘No, these aren’t Labradors, these are foxes,’” Vaughn said. “[The firefighter] was just in shock.” Learn more about these cuties in the video below.

Saunder explains “This time of year there are a lot of animals that are starting to have their young, and they have them in small dens that are places that we can encounter when we’re recreating in the outdoors like we like to do.”

The foxes will be taken back to the pipe, in the hope that their mother will return to take care of them, according to Sauder.