Community rallies to save puppy down drain
GYMPIE West students Jayden and Tamika Walsh have the ultimate show-and-tell after their family's four-week old puppy was freed from a drain pipe yesterday.
A dramatic afternoon unfolded yesterday at about 1.30pm when Rick Barton discovered a commotion out the back of his Henry St rental property.
The family's pet dog, which gave birth to a litter of six puppies on the day of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, had joined five of her offspring crowding the top of a stormwater drain.
Mr Barton knew instantly what had happened. "I could hear the puppy's cries down the drain," he said.
The lightweight metal lid covering the drain had lifted off in the heavy rain late last month, exposing the drain for the curious puppy.
Mr Barton thrust his arm down the drain to gauge how far down the puppy was but could not reach the distressed animal.
As the puppy moved further down the drain, Mr Barton attempted unsuccessfully to contact the Gympie Fire Brigade before turning to Facebook.
A man known only as Aaron came to Mr Barton's aid and the pair was brainstorming when they were able to reach the firies, who arrived not long later.
Two holes were dug to try and extract the animal but the noise frightened the puppy, which backed away even further down the old ceramic pipe.
Gympie Regional Council workers joined the rescue operation and used a drain camera from the other direction to herd the puppy, and a cane toad, back up towards the drain's entrance.
The puppy was pulled free covered in muck, shaking and whimpering.
Mr Barton thanked everyone for their role in helping rescue the puppy and Facebook volunteer, Aaron, adopted the puppy, nicknaming it Draino.