Greensburg — José Ortega-Cevallos and his family decided not to name puppies from a recent litter until they could match names with the pups’ personalities.
But one pup got its name — Lucky — after he was rescued from a hole.
Lucky spent about three hours 6 feet down in the hole before two St. Helena sheriff’s deputies came to the rescue.
Ortega-Cevallos let the momma dog and her puppies out of their pen to play in the yard, a report said.
When Ortega-Cevallos went to put the dogs in the pen, he realized one was missing, he said.
Ortega-Cevallos said he heard the puppy whining but could not find it, and when he came across a concrete pad on the corner of his property, he heard the puppy yelping.
The pet owner said he noticed a small opening under the concrete, then yelled for his father-in-law, who was working with him at the time, to assist with moving the concrete pad.
They tried for nearly an hour, Ortega-Cevallos said, to remove the concrete but were unsuccessful. After they each tried but could not fit in the hole, Ortega-Cevallos thought it may be an old water well.
The puppy was responsive at first, but when they no longer heard his cries, Ortega-Cevallos said, he ran to the house to tell his wife, Magaly, what was going on.
They tried calling a neighbor to borrow his tractor to move the pad, but he was not home.
“I know I have seen several animal rescues on television by the fire department and the police, and I figured it was worth a shot since there are so many animal lovers out here,” said Magaly.
The family called the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. George Baker responded to the call, and when he arrived, he immediately removed his gun, belt and his shoes and tried climbing into the well to save the puppy, Magaly said.
Baker tried to get under to check it out, Magaly said, but the hole was too small, so he dug a bigger hole under the concrete pad so he could fit.
After Baker crawled halfway into the hole, he realized that he was too large to go any further and called Deputy Thomas Gordon to assist, the sergeant said.
After several hours, Gordon said, he was able to lasso the puppy by using a snare to pull her out of the well to safety.
“I was the only one who could fit under the concrete, and being a dog lover myself, I felt really bad that puppy had to experience that, and when I saw him laying there helpless, I could do nothing but risk myself to climb in that hole and save him,” said Gordon.
Magaly said she is grateful for the quick response from the Sheriff’s Office and the combined efforts of Baker and Gordon to save her puppy.
“The only deputies that were on call that day came to help. They came in with their uniforms all nice and crisp and left covered in mud. There is no way we would have been able to rescue the puppy without them. We are so grateful to our deputies and reaffirm our decision to move to Greensburg,” said Magaly.
The family thanked the deputies for their efforts.
“I feel appreciated, but it’s my job. It’s not something that I think I did outside of my normal performances every day. We don’t want to do anything but help out the community,” said Baker.