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Conn. firefighters rappelled down cliff to rescue trapped dog

North Canaan firefighters were lowered into a rock quarry to rescue the injured terrier

Quarry Dog

Firefighters ripple down a cliff as they rescuing Rippy, a 30-pound terrier mix dog in North Canaan, Conn.

Lindsay Burr/North Canaan Animal Control via AP

Associated Press

NORTH CANAAN, Conn. — It was the barking that saved Rippy, a mutt that fell deep into a working rock quarry.

After passersby and even a drone failed to locate the lost dog, rescue workers drawn to his barks rappelled down the pit’s walls and lifted him out three days after he went missing, according to a local animal control officer.

The 30-pound terrier mix’s owner reported Rippy went missing during a hike in North Canaan on May 4. A local animal shelter got first word of the barking days later.

Shelter workers asked a volunteer to fly a drone over the Specialty Minerals quarry, but they couldn’t find him.

“We believe that he was hiding in a rock crevice where the thermal imaging could not catch him,” said Lindsey Burr, North Canaan’s Animal Control officer.

When workers at the quarry went on a lunch break the next day, Rippy’s barks could be heard again. Quarry managers said they couldn’t reach the dog, so firefighters were called in. Two members of a rope team then rappelled off a cliff and retrieved the mutt.

“He could have been stuck there since Saturday night,” Burr said. “We know he was there at least 24 hours.”

Burr said Rippy had some scratches and was limping when he was rescued, but he was checked out by a veterinarian and is recovering at home.

“He was feeling good, went home that night, had a nice bath, got cleaned up and was very happy to see the family,” she said.

Rescue workers said it’s not the first time an animal has fallen or become stuck in the quarry, and some have not been as lucky as Rippy, who was not seriously injured.