SUFFERN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A community in Rockland County came together to save a family pet that was stuck underground.

As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, the terrier, named Pepsi, went through a terrifying ordeal this week – and her owner saw everything.

Linda Pelletier said her biggest fear was that her dog would die.

Pelletier had been sitting with Pepsi in her backyard on Cooper Court in Suffern Monday night. The 16-year-old pet, who is losing her hearing and eyesight, wandered off.

“I started panicking when I realized I couldn’t find her,” Pelletier said.

She called the neighbors, and they started a frantic search. It turned out that Pepsi had gotten into a storm pipe on her property about 15 yards away, and crawled more than 15 feet in.

Pepsi ended up trapped.

“I just didn’t know how we were going to get her,” Pelletier said.

So Pelletier and her neighbors called the local fire department, and Pelletier started recording the dramatic rescue on her cellphone.

Hunter Potter of the Tallman Fire Department said the local crews have never gotten a call for a similar task.

“I mean, we’ve had a cat in a tree before, but never anything like this,” he said.

Firefighters had to dig a hole, cut through a pipe, and make a contraption to get Pepsi out.

And after nearly four grueling hours underground, the crew finally saved her.

“It really was the greatest feeling in the world knowing the dog was all right,” Potter said.

Pelletier expressed tremendous gratitude to the firefighters.

“I love them all,” she said. “They do such a great job.”

Pelletier could not be more thankful for the firefighters’ help, and to have Pepsi back. Now, she will be keeping an extra-close eye on the dog.

“I will never let her out of my sight,” Pelletier said.

Pelletier said she will also put a grate on the storm pipe to make sure this does not happen again.

Pepsi’s owner said the dog never leaves her side, and this is the first time she has walked off.


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