Bailey was situated approximately 1000 feet from a parking lot in a snow-covered field

By Amy Jamieson
Updated February 03, 2016 05:48 PM

Bailey was in big — deep! — trouble.

On Jan. 31, the full-sized Labrador retriever had fallen through a storm drain — situated approximately 1000 feet from a parking lot in a snow-covered field — and was sitting about 8 feet underground.

When New Jersey’s Warren Township Communications received a call about the stuck dog, according to a press release, fire chief Mark Russo quickly responded and decided to call out the big guns: the Warren Township Fire Department, along with the rescue truck and manpower from Mount Bethel Fire Company, as well as the all-terrain brush unit and manpower from Mt. Horeb Fire Company, plus personnel from the Community Fire Company were needed on the scene — STAT! — to rescue the pup.

“Due to the immense amount of snow, it was difficult to fully understand the condition [of] the basin and how its associated cast iron parts were lingering above the animal,” a statement from the Warren Township said.

The rescue teams would deploy low-angle rope systems to secure the storm drain lid and grate, then they made initial attempts at moving the lid away from the opening which, sadly, proved unsuccessful.

“At this point the operations lead deployed additional rope systems and additional anchor points as well as the departments’ all-terrain vehicle for its winching capability,” the release said. “Once two rope systems and the winch was setup, the operators began a coordinated removal which successfully removed the several hundred pound lid exposing the opening entirely.”

With the grate portion of the storm drain secure, a ground ladder was used to get Bailey — who by this time had been underground for approximately 90 minutes. By the sound of it, the pup was very happy to see those very unfamiliar faces and get out of the cold.

“Needless to say, ‘Bailey’ was quite ecstatic for freedom,” said the Township press release, “and the owner took the animal home for a nice bath.”