Florida Firefighters Rescue Puppy From Drainage Pipe

Courtesy of CBS News
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News Release: CBS News

DAVIE, Fla. – A rescue effort that lasted for hours had a happy ending, CBS Miami reports.

"It was a relief. We were worried at first but now it's all OK," said Lorenzo Crout-Flint.

It all started when a Pomeranian puppy named Sugar slipped into a pipe while playing in the front yard of his Davie home Monday afternoon.

"It was playing around in the grass like it usually do and then all of the sudden he just fell bottom first," said Simone Walker.

Sugar slipped out of view, but for a while his cries could still be heard through the pipe.

His owners called for help, and what started as a simple rescue attempt, firefighters sticking their arms into the pipe where the pup disappeared, quickly grew into about a major operation.

A backhoe was brought in to dig up the dirt around the pipe.

Then, fire crews pumped in fresh air to make sure the dog could breathe.

Utility crews came out to assist and used a robotic cameras to try to locate Sugar within the sewer system.

As time went on, the fear grew.

"After the third hour, it was like, are they really gonna find him?" said Crout-Flint.

"We reached that point where you're not hearing the dog anymore so you're not sure how your efforts are going to turn out," added Battalion Chief Jorge Gonzalez, with Davie Fire Rescue.

Then in the middle of the search for Sugar, another neighborhood dog had an emergency.

Firefighters tried to save the dog who was choking, but couldn't.

Finally, about four hours after Sugar disappeared inside the sewer system, a robotic camera caught a glimpse of something shiny.

"We could see a little flicker every once in a while sort of what seemed to be a flashlight and it was actually, once we got closer, the dog turning, hearing the little robotic camera coming behind him," said Gonzalez.

The camera showed a scared Sugar, walking through water.

Crews used the camera to chase the puppy toward a rescuer who had lowered himself into a manhole.

"The camera scared him into the arms of the waiting rescuer on the other end," explained Gonzalez.

Sugar emerged from his underground adventure a little dirty and a little wet, but after a warm welcome and some extra oxygen, he seemed content to be back in the arms of his family.

And his family is grateful for everyone who helped bring him home.

"Thank you so much," the family said to firefighters.

"We appreciate it he came out," said Crout-Flint, adding. "Yeah, he’ll sleep on the bed."

News Release: Associated Press News

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- A group of South Florida firefighters are being honored for saving a puppy that was trapped in a drainage pipe.

Sugar fell into the sewer through a hidden drainage pipe in his owner's yard Monday. Davie firefighters continuously pumped oxygen into the sewer and spent hours using a camera on an extendable wire to encourage Sugar to walk toward a firefighter who had climbed through a manhole to catch him.

Rescue workers brought Sugar back to the surface and used a special animal oxygen mask to ensure a full recovery. He later returned to his grateful family.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is giving the firefighters the Compassionate Fire Department Award.

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