Owners of a local dog who fell into a septic tank before being saved by rescuers said they are surprised at all the attention their furry friend has garnered after his ‘ruff’ experience.
Biscuit, a 14-year-old Border Collie, recently wandered away from his rural home, located northeast of the Balmoral Golf Course. He was heard barking after he fell 13 feet into a septic tank, which didn’t have its lid completely closed.
“I can’t believe all the attention he’s been getting since this has happened,” said Ed Primas, Biscuit’s owner. “His story has been in the paper and on the radio. It’s incredible.”
Primas said Biscuit rarely leaves the yard, so once he discovered his beloved four-legged friend was gone on Aug. 16, he began looking for him.
At about 10 a.m. on that day, Biscuit, who suffers from poor vision due to his age, was found in the tank on a neighbouring property.
“I could see Biscuit in the tank and I was talking to him, but I don’t think it made him feel any better, but it made us feel better,” said Primas.
Red Deer County patrol was initially called and later Red Deer Search and Rescue was notified of the situation and came to the site to rescue the dog.
“When we got there we had to do some monitoring of the air quality and we found that the oxygen levels were going down,” said Ric Henderson, deputy task force leader of Red Deer Search and Rescue. “So we got a fan from the property owner to blow some fresh air into the hole so that Biscuit could breathe. That helped him because before that his breathing was becoming quite heavy.”
Henderson said the rescue team set up a tripod which has a cable on it to allow for a rescuer to be clipped on and lowered down into the hole.
Kristy Kozuska, rescuer with the team, was lowered into the septic tank. The opening, which measures about 30 inches around at the top dramatically narrows to half its size six feet down into the ground.
She was able to be lowered down into the tank far enough to touch Biscuit and throw some webbing underneath him to act as a makeshift sling. She then hooked him onto her harness and the two of them were safely lifted out.
Kozuska said seeing that Biscuit was fine after his ordeal was gratifying.
“I felt good all day that day and I’m really happy to see him now and to see that he’s feeling good,” she said.
Biscuit was in the septic tank for about two hours before he was rescued.
“We took him to the vet as soon as he was lifted out and he received a clean bill of health,” said Primas. “The vet was very surprised that he didn’t have any broken bones and we were very glad. He was quiet for the rest of the day, but got right back to being his happy and cheerful self.”
Primas said he can’t thank the rescue team enough.
“They did a great job and they were all so calm,” he said. “We have them to thank for Biscuit being here today.”