PLACERVILLE, Calif., July 5 (UPI) -- Police, citizens and animal rescue in California helped track down a massive hog that escaped from its home during a fire in the area.
El Dorado County Sheriff's Office shared photos of Sam the hog along with the message "Deputies + Citizens + Animal Services = Teamwork" as they applauded the community for their efforts in returning the animal home safely.
"All 750 lbs of this little guy were running loose in an area affected by wildland fire," they wrote. "Six people, both uniformed and not, worked together to find 'Sam' some safety and shelter.
According to CBS Sacramento, patrols discovered Sam and four other hogs in the midst of the Trailhead fire which began about a mile away from his home.
"When he got here he was very distressed from the heat. It was like 105 that day and pigs apparently cannot sweat, so they don't do well in the heat unless they have moisture somewhere," Director of Scalr Large Animal Emergency Evacuation Aimee Vukovich said.
The sheriff's department, animal services and a group of citizens managed to guide Sam, the three piglets and their mother were taken to a private animal shelter donated by citizens.
"For these five pigs it's been extremely useful. Where else would they have gone? It's not like you can take a pig over to your neighbors and they would have a place to contain it," Vukovich said.
Sam's owner Karen Aschoff released a statement on behalf of herself and her husband Dave, thanking the rescuers for their efforts.
"Your kindness, caring and skilled handling of our animals ensured their safety and well being during a very perilous and stressful time for them and us," she wrote. "Sam had other ideas about where he felt safe but you didn't give up on him and got him to safety with patience and respect."