A chocolate Labrador named Wrigley was walking with his owner at Marilla Park in Streator, Illinois, one Saturday morning when the canine noticed something.
Macy the Golden retriever, one of his park playmates, had fallen through a sinkhole about 5-feet deep. The Labrador whined and barked at the spot to alert his owner until he noticed. Once he did, he immediately notified firefighters to initiate a rescue.
Streator Fire Chief Fred McClellan, one of Macy’s eventual rescuers, said that the 11-year-old dog had been missing for nearly 24 hours. Volunteers had tried to find her, but no one knew she was trapped beneath the frozen ground. A drone was even sent out to locate her.
The Streator Fire Department responded to the call and carried out the unusual rescue, which was all recorded on video.
At first, firefighters tried to get the dog out with a ladder, but Macy, who had leg and hip problems, couldn’t climb it. So, the fire chief descended into the hole and wrapped webbing across her abdomen so they could pull her out.
In the footage, firefighters are seen hoisting Macy out of the hole. The attempt seemed to work at first, but the ground gave way under McClellan, who was standing right outside the opening as he helped lift Macy out.
“There were a lot of things going on real quick,” he recalled.
McClellan fell but managed to transfer full control of the harness to his engineer, Tim Redd, while he was semi-suspended over the hole. Redd and Wrigley’s owner pulled Macy out as McClellan rolled away from the opening.
“If you can see me falling. It was because the ground started to break on my one foot underneath, so I stepped across the hole to grab and then it collapsed again. Luckily, my engineer, Tim Redd was able to finish pulling the dog out safely,” McClellan told Heart of Illinois ABC of the tricky rescue.
Once Macy was aboveground, she seemed a little shaken but happily greeted a woman, presumed to be her owner.
McClellan said that Macy was very calm and helpful down in the hole. She even offered him a paw while attaching her to the leash.
“She was doing really, really good,” he said.
After being pulled from the sinkhole, Streator Animal Control shared a photo of a muddy Macy sitting in the back of her owner’s car.
“The owner got very muddy from the dog,” McClellan told the outlet.
Streator Animal Control praised Wrigley for alerting his owner about Macy. Worse things could have happened if he didn’t. The Labrador noticed her when no one did—a testament to the intelligence and great instincts of dogs.
“Wrigley very easily also could have fallen into the sinkhole, but luckily everything worked out!” the agency wrote on Facebook, before thanking the rescuers that helped bring Macy to safety.
Thankfully, a veterinarian who assessed the Golden retriever after the accident confirmed that she was unhurt.
In the comments, Streator Animal Control shared a photo of Macy resting on a couch, saying she “is doing well and resting” following her fall.
Authorities warned locals to avoid Marilla Park—which the organization said is “built on mines”—until it was secure.
Streator firefighters said that should any pet owners find themselves in a similar situation, they must immediately call the fire department for help.
Kudos to Wrigley and everyone who joined in to help rescue Macy! Hopefully, the dog got some delicious steak as a reward.
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