Dog helps rescue man from septic tank

Sept. 30, 2009 at 1:51 PM

CINCINNATI, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- An 80-year-old man was rescued from a septic tank in Delhi Township, Ohio, after a dog alerted others to the man's predicament, the dog's owner says.

Stacey Walsh said when she came to investigate unusual barking by her 9-year-old dog Murphy on Tuesday, she found her elderly neighbor trapped inside a 15-foot deep septic tank, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"He was barking like he was being attacked -- like he's never barked before," said Walsh, who identified the senior citizen as Paul Paff. "He was pointed in the direction of the hole. Then we heard Mr. Paff yelling for help."

After rescuers spent hours removing waste from the septic tank, Paff was rescued using a rope and pulley system. He was then decontaminated and taken to an area hospital where he reportedly was in stable condition.

"It may have been as long as 3 1/2 hours before he was discovered... so he was in the hole five to six hours," Delhi Township Fire Chief Bill Zoz told the Enquirer of Tuesday's accident. "The rescuers commented he was a pretty tough old guy -- friendly."

The cause of the accident was not reported.

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