Standard Rescue Saves Dog From Well

Photo courtesy of the News Tribune
After a dog plunged 23 feet into water in a 37-foot-deep well, a Standard firefighter rappelled down twice before rescuing the dog to rejoin its master and family.

The firefighters were called at 10:45 a.m. Saturday to the home of Arch and Judy Hopkins, north of Standard and east of Granville.

Arch had been having water problems at his house and had hired Rodger Brandstatter of Hennepin to look at his well. They had opened the top of the well when his Goldendoodle, named Doogie, came running up to greet the well man and landed right in the open well, Arch said.

“It was horrifying,” he said.

The men got a light to look into the well.

“He was hanging on the brick edge of the well or dog paddling,” Arch said. “We knew he was at least alive.”

They immediately called 911.

Fire chief Mike Skowera said firefighters arrived, lowered a gas monitor into the well and determined the oxygen level was OK, though slightly lower than normal. He said the dog could be seen down in the well, treading water and occasionally putting out its legs to wedge itself from wall to wall to rest a bit.

The department set up a sturdy tripod above the well, and firefighter Kyle Camatti rappelled down. He could not immediately determine a way to safely raise the dog back up the well, however.

The problem was, everything the department normally has for extraction work or harnesses is made for people.

“The major delay was trying to figure out what to get around this dog,” Skowera said. They didn’t want to try one of the harnesses for humans and then possibly drop the dog.
Photo courtesy of the News Tribune

They brought the firefighter back up and decided to use a sturdy, nylon mesh body bag that they might otherwise have to use for recovery of bodies after drowning. Air and water could pass through, so the bag wouldn’t fill up with water and weigh 1,000 pounds and the dog would be able to breathe.

“Kyle went back down and somehow got Doogie into the body bag. Then they hauled Doogie up first. It was very impressive,” Arch said.

Doogie appeared to be OK after the two-hour ordeal.

“He just jumped up and started kissing everybody,” Hopkins said.

Veterinarian Allison Spayer immediately came to the scene when she was called by Judy Hopkins. Once Doogie was rescued, she examined him, finding no injuries other than a bruised lip and a scratch on his eye, Hopkins said.

“He’s amazingly resilient,” Arch said. “His body temperature even was good.”

Arch and Judy Hopkins were very impressed with how the Standard crew handled the situation. Arch said they were very professional and concerned for Doogie’s well-being.

“It was a happy ending,” Arch said.

Source: News Tribune