DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The quick thinking Davie firefighters who saved a puppy after he fell into a drainage pipe will be honored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
On Monday, February 17th, firefighters were called to a home on King Arthur Avenue after Sugar, a Pomeranian puppy, slipped into a hidden drainage pipe while playing in the front yard of his Davie home.
“It was playing around in the grass like it usually do and then all of the sudden he just fell bottom first,” said Simone Walker.
What started as a simple rescue attempt with firefighters sticking their arms into the pipe where the pup disappeared, quickly grew into about a major operation.
“When we got there I said we’re gonna need help,” said Davie Firefighter Roberta Quinones.
A backhoe was brought in to dig up the dirt around the pipe.
Then, firefighters pumped in fresh air to make sure the dog could breathe.
Kenneth Cox, a firefighter, was part of the special ops team that pumped air down the pipe to Sugar.
“We didn’t know what direction he had gone,” said Cox. He could have gone all the way to the lift station so we had to work hard to get him out.
“We reached that point where you’re not hearing the dog anymore so you’re not sure how your efforts are gonna turn out,” added Battalion Chief Jorge Gonzalez, with Davie Fire Rescue.
About four hours after Sugar disappeared inside the sewer system a robotic camera caught a glimpse of something shiny.
“We could see a little flicker every once in a while, sort of what seemed to be a flashlight, and it was actually once we got closer the dog turning hearing the little robotic camera coming behind him,” said Gonzalez.
The camera showed a scared Sugar, walking through water.
Crews used the camera to chase the puppy toward a rescuer who had lowered himself into a manhole
Rescue workers brought the puppy back to the surface and used a special animal oxygen mask to make sure that he had fully recovered. He was then was returned to his grateful family.
For saving Sugar’s life, the Davie Fire Rescue Department will receive PETA’s Compassionate Fire Department Award.
“The tenacity and know-how shown by the Davie Fire Rescue Department is an inspiration,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Davie is very fortunate to have first responders who are ready to protect and serve both residents and their beloved animal companions.”
For its efforts, the fire department will receive a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation.
Chief Gonzalez said it was a collaborative effort and he gives credit to the sunrise utilities department which provided the camera.
“It makes the homeowner happy and we’re happy we saved a pet,” said Quinones.
PETA urges all dog owners to make sure their yards are secure with sturdy fencing, no potentially poisonous plants or other materials and no open manholes or pipes. Also, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on animals when they’re outside, particularly puppies who are still learning to navigate their environment.