Puppy rescued after 26 hours trapped underground in rabbit hole

By Ben Hooper  |  Sept. 18, 2017 at 11:57 AM
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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A Florida woman said she used her bare hands to unearth a puppy trapped in a rabbit hole for 26 hours after heavy equipment failed to find the canine.

Felisha Ellison of Pensacola said her 9-month-old puppy, R.J., was playing in the yard when he chased the family's rabbit down a hole and failed to reappear when the other animal resurfaced.

"We didn't see him, so we just began digging, digging, digging. Spent all day digging, all night. It got dark," Ellison told WEAR-TV.

Ellison enlisted the help of a neighbor to use a Bobcat excavator to dig through the dirt.

"We had the neighbor come over with the Bobcat, which is the farm across the street, and he cleaned most of the dirt over there," she said.

The effort failed to locate R.J., however, and the family went to bed.

"When I woke up he was over my mind. So I came out here to look for him and kept digging," Ellison said. "I started hearing a faint cry. I seen the dirt moving, so that's when I got on my hands and knees and I got down like a dog and dug him out."

She said the canine spent about 26 hours trapped underground.

"He's my survivor," Ellison said. "It felt, when I lost him in the ground, it felt like I lost a child, and when I was able to save him, he was still alive. It was just the happiest moment."

Ellison said R.J. is recovering from his ordeal.

"I was so happy my puppy was still alive. I'm so glad I didn't give up. My boy is doing good," she wrote on Facebook.

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