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Firefighters Rescue Labrador Retriever Trapped In Backyard Sinkhole

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NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — A Newport Beach family’s missing Labrador Retriever named “Buddy” — which was seen on posters throughout the neighborhood — was found by the family’s other dog and rescued safely by firefighters from an 18-foot hole.

Firefighters responded to a reported trapped dog in the Eastbluff neighborhood at 5:42 p.m. on Thursday, Jennifer Schulz of Newport Beach Fire Department said. The dog was safely rescued from inside a 4-foot-wide by 18- foot-deep hole and was taken to a veterinarian.

The fire department’s Urban Search Search and Rescue team extricated the dog from the unstable hole by lowering a 20-foot ladder and Newport Beach Fire Engineer Alan Baker into the hole, Schulz said.

The dog’s owners were waiting outside the hole to greet the 12-year-old dog that was missing since Monday, Schulz said. On Thursday, the family’s other dog, “Annie,” was looking in the area of the hole. Annie kept leading the family to the area of the backyard where the hole was, which was unnoticed because of trees and shrubs surrounding it.

The family called the fire department when they realized the dog was possibly alerting them of something, Schulz said. Firefighters cleared the brush and found the dog in the hole.

The dog’s owner, Wendy Gerdau, was celebrating her birthday Thursday and had made it her birthday wish to find Buddy.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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