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Puppy saved from 14m pit

After being trapped in a narrow well point, 14m underground for hours, a brave little pup was saved by a Kraaifontein fire and rescue team in a nail-biting rescue operation on Saturday evening. The puppy, Emma, an eight-week-old crossbreed, survived the harrowing experience unscathed, while her team of rescuers were hailed for their unwavering commitment to save a little dog from certain death.

Staff at Bellas Guardian Angels Animal Rescue centre in Joostenbergvlakte suspect that Emma fell into the well anytime between 14:00 and 16:00, as they realised she was gone when they did a count at supper time around 17:00.

“It was at this time that we noticed Emma’s dog mom, standing at the opening of the well howling. She ran up to us and back to the pit again to get our attention, and when we reached the well we heard Emma crying from underneath,” says Nicola Kruger from Bellas.

A rescue crew was dispatched from Kraaifontein fire station and arrived on the scene at 17:18, where conditions were assessed. 

Rescuers could hear the puppy’s weak whimpering coming from deep below and knew they had to act swiftly.

A rescue plan was devised and specialised rescue equipment called for.

“Roeland Street fire crew arrived on the scene shortly after with the necessary equipment,” says a spokesperson at the City’s fire and rescue department.

It was vital to locate Emma, so an LCD camera was lowered down into the well.

Minutes later, amid a collective sigh of relief, a mud- covered little Emma popped up on the above-ground camera screen.

“Rescuers then had to devise a makeshift rescue loop from wire and plastic to attach to the end of a rope that would pull her out of the well,” explains platoon commander, Ursula Wright.

After what felt like an eternity the loop was successfully guided around her body and she was slowly rolled up.

“Without the camera to guide us, this rescue would not have been possible,” says Ursula.

Another nerve-wrecking minute passed with crew and spectators alike holding their breaths, hoping the loop would hold her.

Then, at 19:44, little Emma, eyes closed and not making a sound, emerged from the darkness amidst a loud cheer. 

Apart from sand in her ears, eyes burning and some shock, she had sustained no serious injuries and two hours after her harrowing experience, Emma was again running around playing.

“She is just fine now and shows no signs of stress. All of us at Bellas are elated and there are no words to thank the rescue crew for the compassion they showed towards our little puppy,” says Nicola.

By Monday, word about Emma had spread, and Bellas had received an adoption application for her. 

“If all goes well she will soon be at her forever home,” says a grateful Nicola.

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