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Dog Rescued from Storm Drain

Eyes glowing in the dark drain tell the story of a frightened animal who needs help!
Oakley Originals
Eyes glowing in the dark drain tell the story of a frightened animal who needs help!

A Birmingham family came home expecting to find their 14-year-old Golden Retriever mix, “Tiger Lily”, in their fenced back yard.  The gate was open, but Tiger Lily was familiar with the area so they weren’t concerned because she always came home.  Late in the afternoon the kids heard their dog barking in the woods.  Thinking Tiger Lily had become caught up in some vines, the family searched for her to cut her loose.  What they realized was that their dog had fallen into a storm drain – they could hear the echo of the bark.  No one knows how long she had been in there.

     For six hours, police, firefighters, and contractors tried rescue Tiger Lily.  She was about halfway into a seventy-plus-foot pipe.  They could hear her crying, but she could not get out on her own.  Finally, an excavator was brought in, digging down to the pipe and cutting it open to free the dog.  They gave her a little water, carefully wrapped her in a blanket, and took her to a veterinarian for medical attention.  It was a traumatic experience, especially for an elderly pet, but they hope Tiger Lily will be okay.

     A dog caught in a storm drain or sewer is not so rare.  This year alone, a dog named Dylan, whose elderly owner had died, wandered away from the foster home where he was staying in Medford, New Jersey, and ended up trapped in a sewer pipe for a week, until a passerby heard him barking.  Bilbo, a 12-year-old Tennessee Hound, was rescued from a storm drain in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  Firefighters rescued a Chihuahua from a drainpipe in San Antonio, Texas.

     The sad truth is that allowing a dog to run loose can mean putting it in danger.  Storm and drain pipes are just some of the many hazards that put your best friend at risk.  Sure, your dog would enjoy a trek around the neighborhood or through the woods – so go with your canine buddy and enjoy it together, making sure your best friend stays safe and healthy, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.