Heroic Efforts Made to Rescue Two Dogs from Drainage Pipes

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Two dogs, from Virginia and Pennsylvania, are lucky to be alive after falling down drainage pipes in separate incidents.


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Firefighters in Roanoke, VA were called in after a report came from a homeowner stating they heard a dog’s crying coming from a pipe that empties onto their property. When crews arrived, they found Abby, a German shepherd mix, lodged about 20 feet from the opening.

Firefighters figured the dog likely entered the opening of the pipe to follow or chase an animal,” said Jennifer Sexton, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue spokeswoman. “When she tried to turn around and go back, she likely got stuck.”

All but the opening of the concrete pipe was underground, and extraction would be difficult. The county’s heavy technical rescue team was brought in to safely rescue Abby. They excavated a four-by-six-foot section of soil surrounding the pipe. A saw was used to cut through the pipe, and Abby was released.

Once freed, she was wrapped in a blanket and given food and water,” Sexton said. “She reportedly lapped up a lot of water.”

Abby was taken to veterinarian, and a department of transportation crew was summoned to repair the pipe.



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Carla Becker has a happy reunion with Penny.

In York Township, PA, a miniature Pinscher named Penny went missing from her yard when it began to rain on the evening of May 23. She had been outside with Angel the boxer, Carla Becker’s other dog.

Becker and her boyfriend, Pat Kinsley, called for Penny and searched the area for her. They scoured the area on four-wheelers, but there was no trace. Becker was worried; Penny is small, even for a min pin, and there are fox and coyotes around. Becker and Kinsley searched again the next morning, but there was still no sign.

They continued to search each day, but no luck. Six days after Penny went missing, Becker and Kinsley were sitting on the porch, talking, when they heard an odd noise. It sounded like it was emanating from the basement. They scoped the cellar with a flashlight, but didn’t see anything. As they walked out through the door to the back of the house, they heard the sound again.

That’s Penny!” said Mitchell Schue Becker’s son.

Becker knelt down and called into the drainage pipe just outside the basement door, and Penny whimpered in response.

The drain carried water out away from the house to a cistern at the edge of the yard. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the cap covering the cistern’s large opening was missing. Concealed by tall grass, Penny must have been exploring and fallen in and crawled up the pipe toward the house.

They called the Goodwill Fire Company, who responded and snaked a camera into the drain. About 28 feet away from the drain, and 200 feet from the cistern, was Penny. Kinsley called in his brother, Chris. Chris’s son Andrew arrived on the scene with a backhoe. They dug out the earth around the pipe, and lured Penny out with a treat.

Penny had been a bit overweight, and was able to survive over five days without food. She was taken to a vet, and was determined to be in good health other than some dehydration.

She was starving,” Becker said. “Other than that, she was great.”

The family is overjoyed to have their “little baby” back home, safe and sound.

For five days, I thought she was dead,” Becker said. “Now she’s back.”