Boys assist in rescue of dog

Published: March 26, 2007 | 5872nd good news item since 2003

Austin Rechsteiner couldn’t ignore the cry for help.

But next time, officials said, trained emergency personnel should handle such rescues.

Rechsteiner heard it Wednesday morning as he walked to school. He and a friend, Davis Walschmidt, heard it again that afternoon — a small dog barking in a Northland storm sewer.

The 14-year-old boys live in the Monticello subdivision in unincorporated Platte County.

They told Austin’s father, Dave Rechsteiner. The three began opening manhole covers, and the boys climbed down into the sewer system.

But the dog ran away when they got close to it.

They finally discovered it trapped near a sewer outlet. A county animal-control officer arrived and pulled it out.

“I was really happy,” Austin said. “We’d been searching for it for an hour and a half. I felt really bad for that dog.”

The wet and exhausted dog was taken to a veterinarian for a checkup. A phone number appeared on the animal’s tags, and it was later reunited with a joyous family that had searched for it for days.

However, confined spaces such as storm sewers sometimes can kill with odorless but toxic gases, low oxygen levels, flash floods and other dangers, officials said. Such rescues should be left to fire and public works employees.

“It’s a blessing that nobody got hurt,” said Greg Sager, Platte County public works director. “I’m a dog lover, too. But don’t risk your life when you can call somebody who is trained for this.”

Published in Animals, Kids & Teens
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