A missing golden retriever named Lilah, who was discovered deep in a drainpipe in upstate New York, could not be lured out by her owner with dog treats or peanut butter cheese.
In the end, State Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone decided to crawl about 5 meters into the pipe under a rural road to rescue Lilah, despite the extremely tight fit.
“He crouched down and literally disappeared into the hole with a choker strap on it,” said Lilah’s owner, Rudy Führer, who called 911 for help Sunday morning.
“He was able to somehow manipulate his arms and get the choker around the dog’s head.”
The trooper and the retriever both came out soaking wet, but safe.
The 13-year-old dog has been missing since Friday afternoon. Mr. Führer was out walking his two other dogs—both descendants of Lilah—a few hundred yards down the street from his house when he heard a cry.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s Lilah,'” he recalled.
Mr Führer, who lives near Binghamton, tried to get the tired and confused dog out but ended up calling 911.
Mr Rasaphone and his partner showed up within minutes. Mr. Rasaphone said he would go down the pipe because he was the smallest of the three.
Herr Führer estimated that the diameter of the pipe was less than two feet. He was able to get Lilah out after Mr. Rasaphone emerged.
Mr. Führer said he was grateful that Mr. Rasaphone had the compassion and initiative to go nose-to-nose with his dog down a drain.
And he said that Lilah is recovering well and is walking.
“Needless to say, I kept her on the line,” he said, “because I didn’t want any more escapades.”