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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS

Calif. crew uses rope to rescue puppy from well

After several unsuccessful tries, firefighters used a pike pole carried on the engine to reach into the pipe and bring Lucky within reach of one of the firefighters who brought him to safety

Corning Observer

CORNING, Calif. — The 9-year-old girl was playing in the front yard with her brother's brown and white, tail-wagging 2-month-old Jack Russell Terrier puppy, when all of a sudden it disappeared from the Toomes Avenue property south of Corning.

"My family started searching everywhere," said the puppy's owner, 18-year-old Jose Salas. "They thought maybe it had ran away and started looking in the orchards around our house."

It was late in the afternoon of March 1 and the family was getting desperate, when all of a sudden they heard whimpering coming from the front yard.

"They couldn't imagine where it was coming from because they couldn't see the puppy anywhere," Salas said. "They zeroed in on the sound and discovered it was from a hole in the ground where the puppy had fallen into."

CalFire and Tehama County Fire Station 12 in Corning came to the rescue after receiving a telephone call from Salas stating his puppy had fallen into a six-inch well pipe approximately 30 feet into the ground.

Salas had only had the puppy, now named Lucky, for two days previous to the incident.

After advising the Emergency Command Center, firefighters went to investigate the trapped puppy. Upon arrival, firefighters found a six-inch well pipe opening level to the ground and 30 feet straight down.

The puppy was at the bottom of the dry well, but appeared to be in good condition, CalFire reported.

Firefighters used a utility rope from the engine to make a small loop which they intended to loop around Lucky. After multiple unsuccessful attempts they switched to a heavier rope and continued to attempt the rescue.

After 20 minutes, firefighters received a medical aid call. However, before responding to the medical aid, they made a bigger loop in the rope and left it dangling into the pipe on top of the puppy, and advised the family they would return after the medical emergency.

When they got back, the fir fighters noticed the puppy had moved enough to get the loop around his body. They pulled the puppy up quickly, but about three-and-a-half feet from the top of the hole, the pipe tapered to a smaller size preventing Lucky from fitting through the remainder of the pipe.

Determined and not ready to give up with success so close at hand, the firefighters attempted to reach the puppy by placing an arm into the pipe.

After several unsuccessful tries, firefighters used a pike pole carried on the engine to reach into the pipe and bring Lucky within reach of one of the firefighters who brought him to safety.

After inspecting the puppy for signs of trauma and not finding any, firefighters assisted the residents in blocking the hole to prevent any further accidents.

Today, Lucky doesn't appear to have any side effects from his early-in-life traumatic experience.

"He seems just fine and plays all the time," Salas said.

Running around, confident and happy, Lucky doesn't seem to seem to understand just how lucky he is.

Copyright 2014 Corning Observer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

All Rights Reserved

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