New York State Trooper Crawls Into Drain Pipe to Save Senior Golden Retriever

Lilah the 13-year-old golden retriever is back at home in Conklin, New York, and recovering well thanks to her rescuers

13-year-old Golden Retriever who was rescued from a drain pipe
Photo: New York State Police/Facebook

Lilah, a 13-year-old golden retriever, emerged soaking wet but safe from a culvert pipe on Monday, June 27.

Before this, the senior dog had been missing since the afternoon of Friday, June 24. On Sunday, her owner, Rudy Fuehrer, was walking two other dogs — both Lilah's pups — when he heard Lilah's yelps from underground and followed them to the drain pipe containing the dog. Fuehrer tried to lure his pet out with peanut butter dog treats and cheese, but she wouldn't budge.

Fuehrer called 911 on Sunday after his failed attempts to retrieve Lilah from under the rural road in the town of Conklin, New York, the Associated Press reported.

State Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone and his partner, State Trooper Ana Reynas, arrived a few minutes after the pet parent's call, according to Inside Edition. The two troopers decided that the only way to save Lilah would be for one of them to crawl inside the two-foot-wide culvert pipe. Rasaphone volunteered to journey into the drain pipe to fetch Lilah.

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"He crouched down and literally disappeared into the hole with a lead that had a choker on it," Fuehrer told AP the day after the rescue. "He was able somehow to manipulate his arms and get the choker around the dog's head."

After safely securing the dog, Rasaphone helped lead the golden retriever out of the drain pipe and back into her owner's arms.

Since her rescue, Lilah has been recovering nicely at home and is back to going on walks — on leash — with Fuehrer around town.

"Needless to say, I took her out on a leash because I didn't want any more escapades," Fuehrer added.

In a Facebook post announcing the rescue, the New York State Police shared a photo of Lilah with Rasaphone and Fuehrer and wrote, "Troopers, thank you for going above and beyond and showing compassion to help get this pup back home to her owner."

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