A group of cavers in Missouri went to extraordinary lengths to rescue a dog that was trapped deep underground. We have a feeling St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals, would applaud their efforts!
It all started on August 6 when Gerry Keene led a caving excursion 500 feet underground. One of the children on the tour said a dog was ahead of them in the cave.
A dog 500 feet underground seemed pretty unlikely! But sure enough, there she was, curled up on the mud floor.
“She didn’t look real good,” Keene told NPR. “I mean, she had 11 people walk by her with lights and she just basically lifted her head, but she wouldn’t move at all.”
She was identified as Abby, a local dog who had gone missing June 9. But poor Abby was in no condition to make the arduous journey out of the cave. The cave entrance is vertical in places, winding, and very tight.
It would be impossible for the malnourished dog to make it out on her own, and the available rescue equipment was sized for humans. What could be done?
Fortunately, Keene recruited some help: a friend who is an assistant fire chief and Rick Haley, another experienced caver. All of their help would be needed for what turned out to be a tricky rescue. Haley shared their story on Facebook:
It was Haley who had the idea of using a duffle bag and a blanket to bundle the dog and move her like a package. The journey was arduous, but eventually, they made it out with Abby!
We can only imagine how relieved her family must have been to find her again after almost two months. As for Abby, she’s slowly recuperating from her ordeal:
Haley has kept in contact with the family, who said she’s still weak and a bit wobbly when she walks around, but her spirits are much better.
It’s always inspiring to see someone go out of their way to help a fellow creature. This act of kindness from a group of cave explorers surely brought so much joy to the people who love Abby, and most of all, saved the life of a sweet little dog.