Police and fire agencies, along with community members, in Estherville, Iowa, joined forces recently to save an elderly bulldog stuck in a sinkhole.
Estherville police responded to a call at around 3 a.m. on June 27 from a woman saying she could hear her dog barking in a ravine behind a nearby house.
The woman said that she knew it was her pet, Tupelo, an elderly bulldog that had gone missing.
Responding officers and the dog’s owner searched the area and eventually followed the barks to a sinkhole behind a house in the Orchard Lane neighborhood. Tupelo was found at the bottom of the hole, stuck under a cement drainage tile.
According to a statement from the Estherville Police Department on Facebook, the area near the drainage tile had collapsed to form the sinkhole, which was around 3-foot-wide by 3-foot-deep.
The bulldog was wedged into the cement drainage tile that had apparently been sucked into the hole.
Police immediately called for assistance from Estherville Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Travis Sheridan, who arrived with a crew of firemen, the City of Estherville’s electricians and street department, Emmet County’s secondary roads department, as well as veterinarian Dr. Arlen Omtevdt from the Estherville Veterinary Clinic.
Neighbors also joined in the effort to free the dog by digging around the cement tile with shovels.
Three hours later, at around 6:24 a.m., Tupelo was finally freed from the hole. He was determined to be in “great condition” and was returned to his “very happy” owners.