On June 24, an elderly golden retriever went missing from her home in Conklin, New York. Owner Rudy Fuehrer couldn’t figure out where 13-year-old Lilah had gone.
On Sunday, two days after she went missing, he was walking his two other dogs (who happen to be Lilah’s offspring) when he heard muffled barking.
Fuehrer traced the sound to a drain pipe just 100 feet from his home and realized that somehow Lilah had gotten herself down into the pipe and was refusing to come out.
“I said, ‘Oh my god, that’s Lilah!'” he told the Associated Press.
He tried calling her name and coaxing her out. He tried peanut butter dog treats. He tried cheese. Nothing convinced the confused and tired dog to exit the pipe, and he couldn’t reach her.
He’d exhausted every method he could think of, so he called 911 to ask for help. Two New York State troopers were sent out and met him as he waited anxiously by the drain pipe.
One of the two, Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone, peeked into the pipe.
“Oh, geez,” he said, according to the bodycam video that was later released.
“Yeah, oh geez is right,” the owner replied.
Rasaphone immediately began to put together a long line of rope. He attached a chain collar to one end, and as he was the smallest person present, he stated his intention to crawl into the pipe and lasso the pup.
“I’ll try to go in there,” he said casually.
“In the hole?” the owner asked, surprised.
And into the pipe he went. The New York State Police shared a photo of the successful rescue and commended Rasaphone for saving the dog.
“This is Trooper ‘Jimmy’ Rasaphone (SP Binghamton), 13-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever Lilah and her owner,” the post reads. “Trooper Rasaphone and his partner Trooper Ana Reynas were dispatched to a report of a dog stuck in a culvert pipe in the town of Conklin.
“After learning that Lilah had been missing for several days and now deep underground Trooper Rasaphone decided he was going to help. The trooper tied a rope to Lilah’s leash and disappeared into the dark pipe.
“After crawling about 15-feet he found Lilah and got a collar on her. With the help of her owner, they were able to pull her out to safety. Troopers, thank you for going above and beyond and showing compassion to help get this pup back home to her owner.”
“He crouched down and literally disappeared into the hole with a lead that had a choker on it,” Fuehrer said, according to the Associated Press. “He was able somehow to manipulate his arms and get the choker around the dog’s head.”
The New York State Police also shared the bodycam footage of the rescue, showing how the trooper immediately stepped up to help, devised a plan and was in and out of the pipe in under a minute.
Lilah is back home, resting and recovering, and has even been out for a walk since her days-long ordeal — but she’s lost a bit of her freedom after the weekend’s shenanigans.
“Needless to say, I took her out on a leash,” Fuehrer said, “because I didn’t want any more escapades.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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