Tough rescue: Firefighters call help after working tirelessly to save pup stuck in sewer

Saving animals is often not an easy task and a group of rescuers in North Carolina found themselves coming face to face with a daunting rescue to save a small puppy from a sewer drain.

On July 19, 2018, Ryan Thomas and his family were walking their young puppy, MJ, when she suddenly disappeared. The owners took a closer look at the spot where she had originally been standing and found that MJ had fallen into a sewer drain hidden by the grass and that was without its cap.

“If she wasn’t so tough trying to chase other dogs she wouldn’t have been in that hole,” Thomas told WCNC.

Though MJ had fallen 6 feet down the pipe, her whimpers could still be heard.

Thomas quickly called the Charlotte Fire Department of North Carolina for help, and it soon became clear to rescuers that saving MJ wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

“They grabbed their shovels and started digging around the opening, hoping that it wasn’t that deep,” Captain Jackie Gilmore, a public information officer with the Charlotte Fire Department, told The Dodo. “But as they were digging, the drain got deeper and deeper and deeper, and they determined that they needed additional manpower and heavy equipment.”

The Charlotte water department was then called in to help rescue MJ from under the paved way. The fire crew also pumped oxygen into the pipe.

“We took the same safety precautions you would take when digging a trench or trying to rescue somebody who’s stuck in a hole,” Gilmore said.

When the water department arrived to lower a camera into the hole to check MJ’s position, she became frightened and moved further away.

With no choice, the rescuers started digging an 8-foot trench in the center of the road to reach the pipe.

“We had a goal. We knew we were going to get MJ out, we just had to figure out how we were going to do it,” Gilmore said. “But we were going to get her out no matter what.”

MJ was finally out after several hours.

“It was a joyous moment when we were able to grab the pup,” Gilmore said. “There was a lot of jubilation—everybody was clapping and high-fiving. And the parents were so grateful toward the rescuers that they started hugging everybody.”

Fortunately, MJ didn’t suffer any injuries from the ordeal.

“She’s a trooper,” Thomas said after being reunited with MJ.

Kudos to everyone involved for saving the small puppy!


It’s amazing how these kind-hearted firemen saved the cat from a major ‘CAT-astrophe’!