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A 6-year-old farm dog is being celebrated after saving a flock of sheep as a wall of fire destroyed acres of farmland in southeastern Australia.

In the early hours of New Year’s Eve 2019, kelpie-border collie cross Patsy from the rural town of Corryong, Victoria, rounded up her flock of sheep as encroaching bushfires consumed the land surrounding her owner’s farm. According to SBS News, Patsy herded her 900-strong flock of sheep into the safest paddock on the farm as her owner, Stephen Hill, battled the flames.

All but a handful of the farm’s flock were saved. Patsy’s quick thinking, Hill’s organization, and the trajectory of the flames also meant that hay bales, silage, farm houses, and the shearing shed were spared from the fire.

Cath Hill, Stephen Hill’s sister, filmed Patsy after her epic sheep rescue, sitting on the scorched farmland where the fire had passed over. “Hey Patsy, can you hear those sheep?” Hill can be heard saying in the video. “That’s all your work, well done! You little champion. Good girl.”

Hill also shared pictures of her brother’s newly nicknamed “Wonder Dog” on Instagram, captioning one moving image: “This is Patsy just after she and her human brought the sheep to safety on the morning of New Year’s Eve.

“Cool as a cucumber, Patsy waited with him until the fire got close enough to fight with a tractor and water pump,” Hill continued. “What a team!


“And here’s Patsy’s sheep,” read another post, “safe and sound today!” The caption accompanied a photo of a somewhat eerie, smoke-filled horizon behind Patsy’s flock of sheep, grazing peacefully and safely after the emergency herding.


“It’s like Armageddon,” Hill later told Metro, as her brother continued to battle with bushfires in Corryong. “Everyone is just trying to get water and feed to their animals,” she added, “shoot the ones that can’t be saved, get temporary fences up to keep stock secure, and put out all the logs and stumps still burning.


“[T]here’s people who have nothing left but the clothes on their backs,” Hill said.
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