Adehydrated dog that fell into a deep, “confined” space in Florida is safe and has quenched its thirst.
Mackenzie McClintock, public information officer for the South Walton Fire District, told Newsweek that her department received a mutual aid emergency call on Wednesday from neighboring Walton County Fire Rescue about a medium-to large-sized dog that was stuck in a hole.
The owner of the dog was not at the scene at the time.
South Walton Fire District’s Technical Rescue Team is certified in rescues including confined spaces, vehicle extrication, trench rescue and collapsible space. Crew members headed to the scene in the city of Paxson—about an hour away from district headquarters.
Crew members drove north and arrived on scene within 45 minutes, McClintock said, finding a hole that was between 15 and 20 feet deep.
“We didn’t know at the time how deep it was. It looked like some sort of old drainage system made of concrete,” she said, adding that such calls are pretty uncommon.
McClintock said the technical rescue team spent about 10 minutes assessing the situation, including monitoring the air quality inside the hole due to potential chemicals that could pose a hazard.
She said that in certain instances, chemical worries could supersede fears over potential spaces that could collapse.
Once a gas monitor assured that the space was safe, a ladder was placed inside the hole and a firefighter descended on a safety line. Once he grappled down and made contact with the dog, webbing was utilized as a safety harness to support the dog on the ascent back to stable ground.
The rescuer and dog successfully exited the hole and the dog was not injured. Walton County Animal Control officials tended to the canine, whose owner was later located.
The entire rescue was conducted in the span of 30 minutes.
McClintock said officials at the scene guessed that the breed looked like a Weimaraner, though it was unconfirmed. The dog’s name was believed to be Maddie.
“The dog was in really great shape—very thirsty and had done a lot of barking to let people know it wanted to get back on the ground,” she added.
It remains unclear why a hole existed in that location in the first place. Walton County Public Works later arrived to fill the hole so a similar situation would not occur in the future.
Dog rescues occur in many fashions.
A Labrador mix named Goldie was recently stuck on Sugar Loaf Mountain in Arizona for multiple days before being rescued. Reports said the dog was stuck on a narrow ledge and eventually rescued after news of the dog’s situation reached a local animal search and rescue team that magnified the need for aid through social media.
Another rescue was almost too good to be true. An owner who had fled his Lake Tahoe area home due to wildfires lost contact with his 3-year-old pit bull mix, Russ. Four months later, after various tips from strangers, Russ and his owner were reunited when the dog was found under 5 feet of snow.