On August 9, 2023

Fire department rescues stuffed animals from roof


Staff report

The Killington Fire Department needed to be called in Wednesday, Aug. 2 after 42 animals got stuck on the roof at the Sherburne Memorial Library.

The animals climbed up the roof in the middle of the night, with the pigeon, a notorious troublemaker, leading the way.

The annual event, which takes place at libraries nationwide, marks the end of the library’s summer reading program. 

This year, 42 kids dropped their stuffed animals off at the library Wednesday. The next day, they watched watched a slideshow of all the trouble their stuffed animals got into overnight — staged by adults. 

The stuffed animal pigeon is the main character in Mo Willems’ award-winning” Pigeon” book series and often gets other critters into trouble.

Children as young as 2 years old to adults participated this year.  They fill out a form so they know who belongs to who.

The adults start about 4 p.m. in the afternoon and work on staging and taking photos for five hours. 

In previous years, the animals got a meal at a drive-thru, the Big Bad Wolf went to the dentist, and the animals went to the eye doctor. 

“We use it to keep the kids from being scared of everyday kinds of stuff,” Sherburne Memorial Library Director James Ramos said. 

Last year, one animal got lost and Killington Police Chief Whit Montgomery was called in to help. The animal took a tour of the police department. The year before, Scooby Doo was town manager for a day. 

One favorite annual picture is the animals standing in line to use the bathroom. Usually, one animal doesn’t make it and there’s a wet spot. 

“So they understand everyone makes mistakes,” Ramos said. 

Five adults participated in staging the animals this year.  The fire department used a ladder truck to place the animals on the roof and then rescued them. And, two Bernese Mountain Dogs pulled the animals on a wagon ride around the library. 

“It’s just as fun for us as it is for kids,” Ramos said.

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