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Dog rescued from cistern beneath house

Feb. 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM

WAYNESBURG, Pa., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers said a dog rescued from an unused cistern beneath a Pennsylvania home is believed to have been trapped for four days.

The Waynesburg Borough Police Department said residents of Lincoln Street thought the barking they had been hearing was coming from a neighbor's house until a man realized it was coming from beneath the porch of a home Monday and phoned the Greene County Humane Society, The (Washington, Pa.) Observer-Reporter reported Tuesday.

Jane Gapen, director of the humane society, said she assessed the situation and called police to help with the rescue.

Gapen and Officer Rob Toth were able to attach two leashes to the dog's ribs and rear end to lift her to safety.

"She is a beagle mix, so she might have been chasing a squirrel or a rabbit when she went under there," Gapen said. "We were also having a lot of wind this weekend, and she may have gone under there to get out of the wind."

Police said the owner of the home was unaware of the cistern's existence and pledged to secure the hole to make sure no more animals fall into it.

Gapen said the dog's tags identified her as Shelby, a 2-year-old beagle mix. She said officials are attempting to reach the canine's owner.

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