Crews rescue missing dog from drain pipe in South Jersey

Eight-year-old Dylan went missing from his foster family a week ago.

Monday, July 25, 2022
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Eight-year-old Dylan went missing from his foster family a week ago.

MEDFORD TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Rescuers in Medford Township, New Jersey call it nothing short of a miracle.

Dylan, the 8-year-old coonhound, had a dramatic rescue early Sunday morning after getting trapped in a drain pipe for a week.

"Excited, it was amazing," said Shellinda Hardie of Jericho's Wish Animal Rescue. "I'm going to cry. It was amazing to see everybody get together like that, and they worked so hard for a dog they didn't even know."

Dylan was in pretty bad shape. He was covered in ticks, had a 104-degree fever, his paws and elbows were burnt from the pipe and he had a deep laceration on his elbow.

Dylan had been trapped in the drain pipe for a week with no food or water.

"This has been the toughest recovery that we've been involved with," said Kathleen Tortu-Bowles of Southern New Jersey Humane Tracking and Trapping Recovery Group. "We've never had anyone stuck anywhere like that."

It started when a neighbor heard Dylan barking a week after he disappeared. Then a web of first responders including police, firefighters, public works and electric crews began their complex nine-hour rescue, which ended at 1 a.m. Sunday.

"They had to dig down into somebody's property to get to the pipe. And then once they reached the pipe, they started banging on the pipe," said Tortu-Bowles. "Once they started banging on the pipe, Dylan started shimmying towards the firefighters."

First responders rushed Dylan to Mount Laurel Animal Hospital where he may have to undergo surgery for his elbow. But all in all, the vet says he is doing incredibly well.

"It's very unbelievable that he's alive actually. It's just a good thing that he was saved when he was," said Tortu-Bowles.

Rescuers said if Dylan had been trapped for one more day, he would not have made it.

Dylan is now adopted, so when he leaves the hospital, he will go to his forever home.