Dog News

Firefighters and Sanitation Workers Rescue Dog trapped in Sewer

by Katherine

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Jackson, an 8-month-old German shepherd from Jeannette, Pa., spent the majority of March 23, 2014 and a few hours of March 24, trapped inside a sewer, but thanks to local firefighters and sanitation workers, the dog was rescued.

According to, the German shepherd was trapped in the sewage system after it somehow entered it via a large tunnel. Firefighters learned about the animal in need when a concerned citizen called to report the trapped pet.

Stock image. Photo Credit: Christopher Patterson/ Flickr
Stock image. Photo Credit: Christopher Patterson/ Flickr

When fire rescuers arrived on the scene, they lowered a ladder and reached the pet, but had to retrieve when the dog snapped at its rescuers. Westmoreland County Animal Response Team (CART) was called for assistance, but after trying to rescue the pet for hours the rescue mission came to a halt and resumed the following day.

“A no-kill trap was set, but it didn’t work,” said Fire Chief Joe Matijevic. “We got maps of the storm drains and spent six hours Monday night and five hours on Tuesday [looking for the dog].”

Sanitation employees were working in the area Tuesday morning when they heard the dog barking. They too joined the rescue efforts.

The sanitation workers successfully lured the dog out of the sewage tunnels and Fireman Gary Mumper came over to the dog, distracted him until a woman claiming to be the dog’s owner approached the canine and leashed him.

As of March 26, Jackson was still under the care of CART. The person who claimed to be Jackson’s owner failed to proof ownership of the dog, and the canine had not been registered or received the mandatory vaccines.

Authorities want nothing more than to return Jackson to his owner, but without proof of ownership this cannot be done.

“We can never assume that just because someone is claiming it is their dog, that it really is,” said Lori Mozina-Ogurchak with CART. “This is why they should have a license, rabies shot and a micro chip. Pet owners should also have a current dated picture taken with their dog.”

If the alleged dog owner cannot provide proof of ownership, Jackson will be placed for adoption by one of the no-kill shelters in the area.