Dog spends hours treading water in 35-foot well until rescuers arrive

People who put their lives in danger to save others are cut from a special cloth.

Sarah Dean of Athens, Georgia, has a newfound appreciation for rescue services after they saved the life of her dog Yoyo. She had let their boxer mix out on Friday night, but the dog had not returned as usual. Her daughter was outside the next day when she heard a dog whimpering in the distance.

When the family went to investigate, they found that a tree had fallen in the woods and damaged an old well cover. Yoyo had fallen 35 feet into the well, which was filled with about 8 feet of water at the bottom.

Nobody knew how long the dog had been treading water overnight, but the clock was ticking in terms of a rescue!

Around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, their son dialed 911. The Gwinnett County Fire Department Technical Rescue Team responded immediately and began clearing brush and trees so that rescue equipment could be brought into the area.

Once they opened the well, they could see the exhausted dog swimming deep down inside.

“You would think a dog couldn’t tread water that long,” said Oconee County Fire Chief Bruce Thaxton. “But when the rescuer went down she said it was treading water and the water was deep.”

“I don’t know how she did it,” Sarah agreed. “She had to swim in the dark.”

Once the team and their equipment was in place, they lowered a rescue worker down into the well to get Yoyo out.

“The woman they sent down in the well was a straight-up superhero,” said the dog’s grateful owner. “The rescue lady said that Yoyo right away leaned on her for help.”

Yoyo weighs about 70 pounds, but the rescuers worked together to safely remove both the human and the dog. Yoyo’s harrowing ordeal came to an end around 1 p.m. They took her to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital for examination, and she is expected to recover completely.

Sarah was left in awe of Yoyo’s heroes’ bravery. They treated the situation with the same urgency as if it were a child trapped in the well, and she is grateful for their efforts to bring Yoyo home.

This poor dog had a terrible night! We’re glad this story has a happy ending, and we hope the family has plans to seal up that well to prevent this from happening again.