EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI)-- Andre Howliett is a warrior when it comes to tail-waggers.
"We had to cut all this out to get to them," says East St. Louis Firefighter Lt. Andre Howliett. "How Mom got in there I have no idea."
It was Friday morning when a volunteer with gateway pet guardians stopped by the East St. Louis fire department.
The group cares for strays on the streets of East St. Louis and had come across some abandoned puppies in a brush pile.
"Initially two maybe three puppies that we could seebut they were so far back we couldn't tell," says Howliett. "We actually found eight of them."
The puppies` mother was found dead a block away near bond and 17, apparently mauled in a dog fight.
"He was getting off work and actually took the chain saw before he went home and went to help Ms. Hightower get those puppies out," says firefighter Michael Kerney. "So, he was actually off, not on the clock. It's just something he did on his own."
All eight puppies are spending time at various foster families awaiting their okay to be adopted.
This is the third time Howliett has been a hero to a set of puppies.
"You get a great sense of accomplishment helping others," says Howliett. "I've had many jobs. I love this one more than any other."
"You should wear a cape," says Patrick Clark.
"Well my firefighters say I'm a man of steel," says Howliett.
You might say he's a defender of dogs, a superman when it comes to strays in East St. Louis.