DRAMATIC RESCUE: Dog trapped in sewer culvert

Wade McIntyre
Lillie Landaiche and Billy Dixon carry a dog rescued from a sewer culvert to a transport vehicle Thursday morning.

Ascension’s Animal Control Department workers rescued a mixed breed dog late Thursday morning after it was trapped for hours inside a sewer culvert under a driveway on Carpenter’s Chapel Road in Galvez.

The exhausted dog, whose name was unknown at press time, was pulled the last few feet from the culvert by Animal Control’s Lillie Landaiche. She had been monitoring the animal’s rapidly deteriorating condition inside the culvert most of the morning.

As the muddied dog was carried from the ditch by Landaiche and a Galvez/Lake Fire Department firefighter, another firefighter began administering oxygen through a mask.

Also involved in the rescue were a number of DPW workers, including the operator of a hydroscopic crane who had begun digging out the driveway culvert in an attempt to free the dog.

Lynwood Smith, a neighbor in the area, heard the dogs frantic barking around 7:30 a.m. while walking his own dog down the street.

At first, Smith could not tell where the barking came from. Then he discovered the dog trapped in the culvert.

“I could hear him gurgling in the water,” Smith said. Fearing that the animal would drown, he hurried home, returning with a hoe.

“I hoed the mud out of the ditch so the water could drain out of the pipe so he could breathe,” he said, pointing to a section of the ditch that had been clogged before he arrived.

Smith called animal control, and aid came in force from DPW, and Galvez/Lake and Fire District 1.

“I think he may have been there all night,” Smith said. “Some neighbors said they heard dogs barking during the night, maybe because they knew this dog was trapped in there.”

At times a crowd of about 15 workers were on the scene.

Around 11 a.m., concern for the animal’s health escalated, and there was worry the animal might not live long enough for the crane to finish removing the culvert under the driveway.

Animal Control’s Billy Dixon tried another tactic, slowly shoving a 25 ft. section of 2-by-4 inch aluminum tubing into the culvert to encourage the animal to crawl out.

The dog had yet to move at 11:14 a.m. when Landaiche took a look inside the pipe to see if any progress was made.

“He’s not even barking now, just laying there breathing,” she said.

But about five minutes later, someone shouted that the dog had moved and was crawling.

The aluminum tubing tactic had worked, and the hyrdoscopic crane stopped. The dog folded his legs back under his body and was inching his way out.

After he was free and given oxygen, the animal was transported to Animal Control where Landaiche said he would be well taken care, though whether the elderly dog would ultimately survive was not known. Firefighters said he also had water in his lungs.

The dog was believed to belong to Tommy Bradford at the 17202 Carpenters Chapel Road address where the animal trapped under the driveway, according to officials at the scene.

This elderly dog was trapped inside a sewer culvert on Carpenter’s Chapel Road in Galvez for hours before being rescued by parish animal control officers.