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One Lucky Dog Gets Rescued from a Well

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On Monday, my partner (Karen Ehnert, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM) and I went out with the dog hand-catching team instead of our usual team, the Buffaloes. This smaller team included ourselves, 2 hand catchers, and 2 Mission Rabies project leaders (Helena and Anmesh). We spent the morning on the beach and had good luck catching several stray dogs.

Because the dogs usually run away when they see the nets, hand catching is pretty successful (although it may sound scary) and we enjoy it because there is more interaction with the dogs. After lunch, we went into a nearby neighborhood where a local woman approached us on her scooter. She was frantically asking for help because a dog had fallen into a well at her home.

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Our team quickly followed her. Upon arrival, we could see the dog in a well ≈12 ft deep; she was paddling and crying out in fear (it was so terrible I couldn’t even look). We immediately called for backup. The net team closest to us, the Buffaloes, headed our way. While waiting for them, we tried to find something to put in the well that the dog could use as support. We didn’t know how long she had been down there, but we knew she must be exhausted. We found a ladder and a neighbor provided some rope. We tied the ladder to the beam above the well and lowered it down. The dog immediately put her arms through the ladder for support.

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After about 20 minutes of nervous waiting, the Buffalo Team arrived with nets. Anup, a hand catcher, climbed down the ladder with net in hand. Once he was at the bottom, he scooped up the dog and another team member climbed onto the ladder from the top and pulled the dog to safety. We all cheered, gave high fives, and shed a few happy tears when the dog, although wet and frightened, was safe on dry land.

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We spent the next 10 minutes drying her off and petting her. She was a sweet elderly dog that may have poor vision. Once all the excitement calmed down, we walked around the neighborhood asking if anyone recognized the dog; by this time, we decided to call her Lucky. It started to rain so we all jumped into the van and continued to love on Lucky. By the end of the day, she was very calm and content. Because we were unable to locate Lucky’s owners, she spent the evening with Anmesh at his accommodations.

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The next day, unfortunately, we still could not locate her owners, so Lucky went to stay with a local woman who fosters dogs at her home. Mission Rabies has since set up a Facebook post with images and information about Lucky in hopes of reuniting her with her family.

Watch for updates on social media, and be sure to check for updates at cliniciansbrief.com/mission-rabies. —Jackie Ramage

Jackie is the Human Resources Director at Brief Media.

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