The poor pooch was rescued after two days, and miraculously, she didn't even have a bruise or a broken bone.
Zoey, a 15-year-old deaf dog, went missing from her home on August 19, 2021. The worried owners spread the word amid friends and family, in the hopes that someone would help them locate Zoey.
“I had put on NextDoor app, we’re missing our dog if you see it, and people were like, 'Here’s my number, call me and I will come help you find it,'" Andrea Tankersley, the dog's owner, said, according to WFAA. She did have a few people try and help, but none of it was Zoey. “People were hearing animal sounds, but they were hearing them all over the neighborhood.”
Since Zoey's hearing is compromised, she wouldn't have heard her worried family calling out to her, either.
“The difficult part is she’s deaf," Brennan Tankersly said. "So we’re calling out to her, calling out to her, of course knowing it’s not any good but you can’t help it."
Eventually, they found Zoey, but, during her time away from home, she got stuck deep inside a storm drain. The Tankerslyes were also unsure how to get her out, so they had no choice but to call for help. Police officer Kristi Weil said she was dispatched to the site where the poor dog was stuck. Police, firefighters, paramedics, and city rescue crews all responded to the call, too, and together, they tried to figure out how to get Zoey out of the drain safely.
So, around noon on August 21, 2021, every single person from the rescue teams came together, trying to figure out a plan of action, says PEOPLE. “They had to come up with plan B and Plan C and Plan D and they were just going to do whatever it took," Andrea Tankersley said.
The water department placed a camera in the drain to see if Zoey was doing okay throughout the rescue operations. “It’s hard to watch," Brennan Tankersley said. "She’s just sitting there panting. You know she’s hot. You know she’s tired.”
Amid the operations, a firefighter suggested a skateboard might be a helpful tool to get into the drainage pipe, which will get them one step closer to rescuing the beloved pet, and a nearby kindergartner, Hunter, offered help. "He was just so enthusiastic about helping us," Weil said. "It was just so heartwarming."
It took 11 hours to rescue Zoey, during which the rescuers used the skateboard. In the end, they signed it for Hunter, Weil said. They plan to present the skateboard to Hunter this week.
When she was finally pulled out, the family was relieved to know that she had no serious injuries or broken bones. They couldn't be happier about it. “Miracle, definitely. Miraculous," Andrea Tankersley said. "I don’t know how she came out not more broken or more injured."
Even members of the community, who were not directly involved in the rescue process, helped out by delivering water and pizza to the rescuers throughout the day.
"It has been amazing," Weil said. "Everyone has been so helpful. There have been cheers of joy, and tears when Zoey was rescued. And I love seeing the community turn out and cheer a successful end to this. And for a family to have their beloved pet returned to them at the end of the day."
The entire rescue process was documented and shared on Facebook via the Arlington Fire Department. It's just so heartwarming to see a whole community come together to save a senior dog's life, isn't it?