Tehama Co. firefighters rescue puppy trapped in well pipe

CHICO, Calif. - A puppy is recovering after falling 30 feet down a well pipe in Tehama County.

The incident happened Saturday, at approximately 4:25 p.m. at a home on Toomes Avenue in Corning.  Firefighters from the CAL FIRE  received a telephone call from a man saying that his puppy had fallen into a six inch well pipe approximately 30 feet into the ground.

Firefighters found a six inch well pipe opening, level to the ground, and 30 feet straight down.  The puppy, which appeared to be in good condition, was at the bottom of the dry well.

Firefighters used a utility rope to make a small loop which they intended to loop around the puppy. After several failed tries, they switched to a heavier rope.

After a period of time, the puppy had moved enough to get the loop around his body.  They pulled the puppy up, but about three-and-a-half feet from the top the hole, the pipe tapered to a smaller size preventing the puppy from fitting through the remainder of the pipe. 

Firefighters used a pike pole to reach in to the pipe and bring the puppy within reach of one of the firefighters.  The puppy appeared to be uninjured. Then firefighters assisted the residents in blocking the hole to prevent this from happening again.

"Open hand dug or cased water wells pose a significant threat to public safety and the environment due to the potential for physical entrapment and ground water contamination.  We are very interested in determining the location of these wells so they can be properly destroyed" says Tim Potanovic, Director of Tehama County Environmental Health.

CAL FIRE/TCFD and Tehama County Environmental Health encourage property owners who have abandoned wells to contact Environmental Health at (530) 527-8020 to have the wells destroyed.

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