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Tried and cold after a night outside in below zero temperatures, a trio of puppies warm up in the vehicle of their rescuer NorthWestern Energy Belt Town Manager Cody Yurek

Puppies lost in frigid weather reunited with owner by NorthWestern Energy Belt Town Manager Cody Yurek

Date: Feb 22, 2022

TYPE: News


Belt, Mont. – Feb. 22, 2022 – NorthWestern Energy Belt Town Manager Cody Yurek thought the mound under the power line he was patrolling early Tuesday morning in -15 below, snowy weather was an animal carcass, until it started wiggling.

Three lost puppies huddle under a NorthWestern Energy Feb. 22, 2022 morning in -15 degree temperatures

“It turned out to be three shivering puppies, you could see the ground was thawed out where they had slept,” Yurek said.

The husky-mix pups were healthy, but lost in the middle of nowhere. Yurek was conducting an annual maintenance patrol of the remote line. 

“I couldn’t just leave the little buggers,” he said.

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 the Chief of the Belt Rural Volunteer Fire Department Travis Johnson to ask for help finding their home,” Yurek said. 

“We have a great relationship with Cody and with NorthWestern Energy in general, so I always take his calls,” Johnson said.

This time rather than a report of a vehicle wreck discovered during a line patrol or an alert about a downed power line, Yurek had good news to share.

NorthWestern Energy Belt Town Manager Cody Yurek coaxed a trio of lost puppies into his warm vehicle Tuesday morning in -15 below temperatures

The puppies continued to warm up in an office at the fire hall. With the help of social media, they were reunited with their owner within an hour.

“The owner said she’d let the puppies out Monday night with an adult dog who returned without them,” Johnson said. “She was pretty darn happy to see them.”

Yurek has been the Belt town manager since 2010, overseeing a large area that includes the Monarch and Neihart areas. The fire department often enlists his help to guide them to remote areas for backcountry rescues and other emergencies.

“He’s always hustling and I think this says a lot about him, how he took the time to round up three freezing puppies,” Johnson said.

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About NorthWestern Energy (Nasdaq: NWE)

NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as NorthWestern Energy, provides essential energy infrastructure and valuable services that enrich lives and empower communities while serving as long-term partners to our customers and communities. We are working to deliver safe, reliable, and innovative energy solutions that create value for customers, communities, employees, and investors. This includes bridging our history as a regulated utility safely providing low-cost and reliable service with our future as a globally-aware company offering a broader array of services performed by highly-adaptable and skilled employees. We provide electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 753,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Yellowstone National Park. We have provided service in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and in Montana since 2002. More information is available on the company's Web site at


Media Contacts:

Jo Dee Black