LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - "Boss" is an eight-week-old pit bull who loves to explore. But on Tuesday night, his adventurous spirit got him into pretty deep trouble.
Boss and his siblings were let out around 10:30 p.m., but Boss fell backwards into a four-inch-wide sewer pipe at their home on Hickory St. in Lucedale.
"I thought I was going to lose my man, my big boy, because I was crying. And my sister did a prayer, 'God, please don't take him away from us,'" said Cassandra Branch.
The frantic family called the police and fire departments.
"I thought he was going to die. Nobody was helping us, and when my mom posted on Facebook....six complete strangers came and helped us," said Georgie Phelps.
Wildlife workers, animal rescue volunteers and a plumber dug a hole around the pipe, but couldn't see the puppy. The next morning, the family contacted the mayor, who then called the Lucedale Water and Sewer Department.
"Well, I thought, I don't do this every day," said Lucedale Water Superintendent Kevin Cochran.
Four employees and three inmate trusties used a sewer inspection camera to track down the puppy.
"It sounded like it was a little distressed, it was whimpering and whining. We knew we had to do something," said Cochran.
The crew dug a large hole across the street, and two men jumped in.
"We dug up the pipe and cut a window out of it, and thank goodness it was right there close to him. We reached in and got him," said Cochran.
Their rescue effort took four hours.
"It was an experience, better than looking for leaks for sewer or water," said Lucedale Water Operator Stevie Martin.
As for the puppy, he won't be known as "Boss" much longer.
"We're about to change it Piper or Lucky. He's really lucky," said Cassandra.
Boss was unharmed, but one of the men who jumped in to grab him had to be taken to the emergency room for heat exhaustion.