Firefighters dig trench to rescue dog from storm drain

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM PDT
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FARGO, N.D. (WDAY) – Digging frantically yet carefully and methodically, firefighters in North Dakota searched for a Shetland sheepdog who had fallen down an uncovered storm drain.

Gloria Shipman said she was watching the 13-year-old dog, named Bentley, for her daughter.

“As it happened, Bentley and I connected visually,” she said. “The helplessness look on his face, I can’t describe it other than him telling me, ‘Help me,’ and I couldn’t.”

Shipman said Bentley was important to the family for several reasons

“First and foremost, he’s a medical support for my daughter,” she said.

Shipman also said he was family.

When Bentley fell back into the storm drain, Shipman said she lost sight of Bentley within seconds.

Firefighter Joe Johnson said Bentley fell down the storm drain “butt first” and must have gotten scared and backed up.

Bentley was completely out of sight after he shimmied down a couple of pipes, and one of the firefighters working to save the dog went home to get his ice-fishing camera.

“All of a sudden, we put our ears to one of the tubes, and we could hear Bentley panting and licking water, so we knew he was OK.”

When the West Fargo firefighters realized they couldn’t reach the dog, they called in support from the public works department. That crew came with a backhoe.

Together, the groups dug a trench, and after four hours, the search and rescue succeeded.

“I can’t tell you how that was,” Shipman said. “They instantly wrapped him, handed him over to me; the licks from him were just beyond.”