Sacramento firefighters rescued a beloved pet who was stuck in a drain pipe

12:50 AM, Jan 13, 2011   |    comments
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  • Casper at the bottom of drain pipe
  • Sacramento firefighters work to get Casper out of drain pipe
  • Casper out of drain pipe and wrapped in blanket

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA- A 15-year-old miniature schnauzer named Casper, who may have been stuck in a drainage pipe for up to three days, was saved Wednesday night by Sacramento Metro firefighters.

"We have one of these storm drains right in front of our house. He may have fallen in that one and crawled all the way here, we don't know," said Casper's owner Wayne Hernandez.

Casper ended up stuck inside an 8-inch storm drain pipe about a block from his home. He was discovered by another dog, a rat terrier named Rowdy, who belongs to a nearby neighbor.

"He caught the scent and he just started barking, barking, barking," said Rowdy's owner, Patty Monk, who happens to be best friends with Mrs. Hernandez.

Wayne said they searched and put up missing posters, but thought Casper might be gone for good.

When Wayne got word Casper might be found, he drove to a nearby fire station.

"I think they were in the middle of dinner," Wayne said. "They dropped everything and came running."

Firefighters cooked up a scheme to rescue Casper. They filled a hose with water and put a cap on the end. But Sacramento Metro spokesman Christian Pebbles said they needed one more thing to keep from injuring Casper as they tried to get him unstuck.

"A teddy bear that's nice and soft and wrapping it around the end of a fire hose and actually using it as like a pipe cleaner and basically just pushing the dog out the end of the pipe," said Pebbles.

The plan worked perfectly, and in less than an hour the exhausted schnauzer was in the hands of firefighter Craig Henderson, who wrapped him in a blanket and put an oxygen mask on his face to help revive him.

"He's a little wet and a little smelly but that's what you get from sitting on the bottom of a storm drain for who knows how long," said Pebbles. "That's what we do, we save lives, whether they're human or they're animals."

Wayne quickly took Casper to a nearby animal hospital to have him checked out.

"We've been kind of taking him for granted, he's been around for so long. But we're gonna have to try and pamper him a little more. He deserves it after this," Wayne said.


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