Service dog rescued from drainage pipe near Riverside Drive

ST. GEORGE — A service dog was rescued after it became stuck in a drainage pipe on Riverside Drive Tuesday thanks to a bystander who noticed a man struggling to reach the dog and called 911 for help.

A service dog is rescued from a drainage pipe after firefighters cut through pipe to widen opening, , St. George, Utah, March 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

Shortly before 1 p.m., a man was walking his service dog on the bike path that runs along Riverside Drive when the dog started chasing after a squirrel or some other type of small animal, St. George Fire Captain Brad Esplin said.

St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said “Katie, the 11-year-old ‘puppy’ decided to take a little tour off the bike path.”

The man, who was in a wheelchair, followed after the dog until it went down into a culvert. As the animal’s owner was attempting to access the area, a bystander witnessed the man struggling to reach the animal and called 911 for help.

“She’s a service dog, so she was with her owner who is wheelchair-bound and uses that bike path often,” Atkin said.

Responders arrived and starting digging to remove the dirt away from the large plastic drainage pipe that diverts rainwater away from the bike trails. Once it was exposed, fire crews cut through the pipe to widen the opening and were able to coax the dog out of the culvert.

Once freed, the dog ran to its owner and was checked by Animal Control officers, Esplin said, who transported the dog to the animal shelter to be checked for injuries and to get a much-needed bath.

The rescue was a group effort that included a number of agencies, including officers with St. George Animal Control, the St. George Fire Department, St. George City Parks employees and the St. George Police Dept.

“Big shout out” for their hard work in freeing “Miss Katie,” Atkin said.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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