Retired police K-9 rescued after falling down 40-foot abandoned well

A retired police K-9 is on the mend after falling down a nearly 40-foot abandoned well last month. (Source: Chula Vista Fire Department)
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 12:21 PM CST
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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Gray News) – A retired police K-9 is on the mend after falling down a roughly 40-foot abandoned well in California last month.

According to the Chula Vista Fire Department, the 9-year-old German Shepherd, named Indy, fell down the abandoned well in the afternoon of Feb. 1.

Officials said Indy is a retired police K-9.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and had to figure out how they could get the dog out safely.

Fire crews said the rescue mission took more than four hours, and eventually, it was an old-school lasso technique that did the trick.

“It was definitely a sigh of relief as soon as I got that lasso around the neck. We had been trying for a couple hours, we tried different techniques, different approaches, and the key was not to give up,” Chula Vista firefighter Fernando Bayardi said. “We finally decided to just try an old lasso technique and see if we can get the rope around the dog. I got the cinch, and I got a good grip of the dog. It was just like … I was very happy.”

Once Indy was out of the hole, his owner took him immediately to a veterinarian for medical treatment.

Firefighters said being able to reunite Indy with his owner was a sentimental moment.

“Happiness, relief,” Chula Vista firefighter Jaime Mendoza said. “It was definitely more of an emotional part when we saw the owner come over … hands down the best feeling was being able to see him go over to his dog and pet him.”

Indy’s owner Mark Pugh told KFMB on Wednesday that the dog suffered a large gash on his back about 18 inches long, which ended up having a bacterial infection.

While that infection took a long time to heal, Indy also suffered a ruptured disc in one of his vertebrae, which was causing compression of his spinal cord, making it difficult to walk.

Pugh told KFMB that it could be another couple months before Indy is back to normal.

The property owner has since covered up the hole with plywood and cement so no one else gets hurt.