"There have been cheers of joy, and tears, when Zoey was rescued," said police officer Kristi Weil.
It took 10 long hours for rescuers to get a trapped dog out of a storm drain, but everyone would agree that the long and arduous rescue was worth every bit of the hard work because it led to a deaf, senior dog finally being reunited with her family. Before the incident, none of her family members could find the 15-year-old labrador named Zoey for about two days. The family, living in Arlington, Texas, also asked around to know if anybody else had seen her.
"I had put on NextDoor app, we’re missing our dog, if you see it, and people were like, 'Here’s my number, call me and I will come help you find it,'" said the dog's owner, Andrea Tankersley. "People were hearing animal sounds, but they were hearing them all over the neighborhood."
"The difficult part is she’s deaf," said Brennan Tankersly, as quoted by WFAA. "So we’re calling out to her, calling out to her, of course knowing it’s not any good but you can’t help it."
Eventually, the family found Zoey stuck in the storm drain near Kelly Elliott Road and Bretts Court. They knew that getting her out wouldn't be easy, and so, they called for help, according to PEOPLE. Once rescuers arrived at the scene, they knew that it was going to take a bit of work to reach the spot where Zoey was. There were police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and city rescue crews at the scene, doing everything to get Zoey safely out.
Over the course of 10 hours, they moved over concrete and dirt to access the pipe, inside which Zoey was trapped. One firefighter even suggested the idea of using a skateboard to get inside the drainage pipe. For this, they approached a kindergartener named Hunter, who was more than happy to offer his own skateboard to help get Zoey out. Hunter "was just so enthusiastic about helping us. It was just so heartwarming," Police officer Kristi Weil, according to WFAA. What was also difficult was watching Zoey through the water department camera, which showed the distressed dog helplessly waiting in the same position.
"It’s hard to watch," Brennan said. "She’s just sitting there panting. You know she’s hot. You know she’s tired." Finally, those 10 difficult hours came to an end with Zoey being reunited with her family without a single broken bone or serious bruise. "Miracle, definitely. Miraculous," said a grateful Andrea. "I don’t know how she came out not more broken or more injured."
"They had to come up with plan B and Plan C and Plan D and they were just going to do whatever it took," she added. Along with the rescue team putting in their best effort, the community also supported them with timely deliveries of pizza and water.
"It has been amazing," officer Weil. "Everyone has been so helpful. There have been cheers of joy, and tears, when Zoey was rescued. And I love seeing the community turn out and cheer a successful end to this. And for a family to have their beloved pet returned to them at the end of the day."
Cover image source: ArlingtonTx Fire/Facebook