LUBBOCK, Texas – After the huge fire at the Boulders at Lakeridge apartments Monday, one Lubbock man heard some pets might be missing from their owners, and he stepped up to help.

Joey Hernandez was a United States Army Ranger for 12 years, and now he said he looks out for missing animals on the Lubbock Lost and Found Pets Facebook group. Usually, he tries to track down missing dogs. On Tuesday, a day after the fire, he ended up saving two cats, Plots and Catsby.

Hernandez uses a drone camera to fly over any debris, and for this rescue, he went into the apartment with his drone on a mission to confirm a deceased cat. However, he never expected to find two that were still alive.

He said after his drone battery died, he found a decent sized hole in the bathroom and climbed through. “As soon as I step in there, I hear like the saddest little meow that you’ve ever heard,” Hernandez said. He then was able to locate the two cats, both trapped under debris.

Hernandez wasn’t alone in this rescue as he had help from Ruth Hermosillo, who was walking by and the two crossed paths. Kats Alley Cats and a vet tech also stepped in to help aid medical help.

From left to right: Katia (vet tech), Kara (friend of cat owner), Sarah (cat owner), Joey Hernandez (cat rescuer), Ruth Hermosillo (assisted in cat rescue), Stephanie (Kat’s Alley Cats)

“We were thanking God and it was just a good feeling being able to tell the owner of the cat that her cat’s still alive because when you lose an animal, it’s like losing a family member,” Hermosillo said.

Hernandez said he knows the pain of losing an animal, and he started rescuing because no person should ever have to feel that pain.

Luckily, the only injury was to one of the cat’s legs. Both cats have been treated and are now home with their owner, Sarah Ruehlen.

If you’d like to lend a helping hand, a GoFundMe was set up for Sarah. You can visit here.