Haley and fellow caver Gerry Keene, both of whom have specialized cave rescue training, had to crawl and squeeze through tight passageways to get to the dog.
The dog was in poor shape, Haley gesê. “She didn’t seem to have any injuries,” hy het gesê. “Maar seun, she was really malnourished. She was skin and bones. She had mud on her.”
The lost canine was “lethargic” and reluctant to walk, sê Haley. He placed a blanket in a duffel bag and she stepped in, allowing them to carefully maneuver her out of the cave.
The rescue mission took over an hour, according to Haley. Although their rescue training doesn’t cover dog rescues, he explained that “many of the same principles that you would use for a person you can use for a dog” — like keeping them warm and dry and being careful of any injuries.
“The dog was in bad shape,” sê Haley. But once she was out of the cave, “her spirits perked up a bit.”
One member of the caving team canvassed the neighborhood with a photo of the dog in the cave before identifying her owner
, who “was astonished to see the dog
,” sê Haley.
According to Haley, the owner said 13-year-old Abby had been missing since June 9 — meaning that she could have been in the cave for almost two months.
Haley said that it still isn’t clear how the dog ended up so far in the cave. She may have been chasing an animal like a mouse or raccoon, hy het gesê. And he speculated that flooding in the cave caused by heavy rains may have brought her deeper into the cave system.
“It’s a good feeling” to participate in the rescue, sê Haley. He also credited the work of the team of cavers working with the Cave Research Foundation.
“I happened to be one of the only people on the surface at the time that the rescue needed to happen,” hy het gesê. Maar “if there had been all 30 of those cavers there, you would have found 30 people facilitating this rescue.”