Dog thought dead in California debris flow reunited with owner

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A California family has been reunited with a beloved pet, feared buried alive during a flood. (WPVI)

A 5-year-old Dachshund named Tinkerbell believed to have been crushed by the mud and debris that flowed through its California neighborhood was found alive Sunday morning.

Henry and Mim Needham's house was inundated with mud when the rain came down Friday night after a clogged debris basin overflowed. It happened so quickly, two-and-a-half feet of mud poured in.

Henry couldn't find Tinkerbell and asked firefighters to look for her.

"I wanted to go in and I couldn't get them to let me go in, and they went looking and they said, 'we couldn't find her, we didn't see her,'" Henry said.

The couple believed Tinkerbell had been buried alive. But Sunday morning, their grandson, Sean Pyles, returned to the home, heard a bark and then saw Tinkerbell in the window.

Ventura County Fire Department then rescued the muddy pet, who was quickly reunited with its loving owners.

"It was amazing," Sean said.

Neighbors shared in the celebrations.

"You could look around and see tears flowing from everybody," neighbor Hal Hyman said. "A miracle happened on San Como Lane in Camarillo Springs."

Sean says had he and his dad gone to breakfast first, before stopping by the house, they may not have seen Tinkerbell and been able to save her life.

"He's my hero," Mim said, referring to her grandson.

Henry was rescued the day prior after the debris flow filled his house. Firefighters had to use chainsaws to cut open the front door and pull him out. A neighbor pulled Mim out.

Authorities said the mud flow was caused by a clogged drainage canal.

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petsmudsliderainu.s. & worldanimal rescuepet rescuerescuedogslost petpetsCalifornia
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