GREAT FALLS — Cody Yurek thought the mound under a power line he was patrolling early Tuesday (February 22, 2022) in sub-zero temperatures and snow was an animal carcass – until the mound started wiggling
Yurek is the Belt town manager for NorthWestern Energy, according to a news release, and he was conducting an annual maintenance patrol of the remote line. He discovered the dogs near the intersection of Spring Creek Road and US Highway 89.
“It turned out to be three shivering puppies, ou could see the ground was thawed out where they had slept,” Yurek said.
The husky-mix puppies were fine, but they were stranded in the middle of nowhere.
He explained, “I couldn’t just leave the little buggers.”
After some coaxing, he got the puppies into his warm vehicle and headed back to town.
“I got them some dog food and water and then called Chief Travis Johnson of the Belt Rural Volunteer Fire Department for assistance in finding their house,” Yurek said.
“I always take Cody’s calls because we have such a good relationship with him and NorthWestern Energy in general,” Johnson said.
Yurek had good news to share this time, instead of a report of a vehicle crash discovered during a line patrol or an alert about a downed power line.
The puppies warmed up in an office at the fire station, and they were reunited with their owner within an hour thanks to a Facebook post.
“The owner said she let the puppies out with an adult dog Monday night, but they didn’t return,” Johnson said. “She was overjoyed to see them,”.
Since 2010, Yurek has served as the Belt town manager, overseeing a large area that includes the Monarch and Neihart communities. He frequently assists the fire department in guiding them to remote areas for backcountry rescues and other emergencies.
Johnson said “He’s always hustling and I think this says a lot about him, how he took the time to round up three freezing puppies,” .