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Joe Dunn loves to go for hikes in Pasco County, Florida. He says there is so much to discover but he certainly wasn’t prepared for what he found this past week.
Dunn was on a solo adventure when suddenly, deep in the woods, he heard a dog crying. That sound broke his heart! “It’s sound you don’t like to hear,” Joe Dunn told WFLA. “Really disturbing, makes you really sad to hear.”
Dunn knew he had to investigate. There, in the Withlacoochee State Forest, was a cave in the middle of nowhere. Dunn explains, “It was unbelievable going out there, just a cave in the middle of the wilderness. It took several miles to hike out there.”
The cries were coming from a dog trapped deep inside a cave in the ground. There was no way he could save her on his own. The distressed dog saw Dunn and tried to get his attention. She knew he was her last hope. But she was deep in the ground and without the proper gear, he could not save her.
Dunn took to social media. He explained that he needed backup and some gear to get her out. “A great group of people contacted me who wanted to help out and we went back out there today to get the dog out of the cave,” he wrote on Facebook.
The group that was eager to help included experts in “technical stage rigging” who traveled across Central Florida to assist.
The dog in need was trapped 20 feet down. One of the rescuers fastened a harness around her. She was then pulled up to safety. Amazingly, she knew she was being rescued and cooperated the entire time.
“The dog was so happy,” Dunn said. “She just rolled around on the grass, wanting her belly rubbed. She was the happiest animal I’ve ever seen.”
The rescue team looked at the dog’s collar and saw that her name is Sally. The poor pup went missing an entire month earlier. They believe she was stuck in the cave most of the time. Thanks to Dunn and some dog-loving friends, Sally is now back home with her family.
“Going through all this, it made me feel really rewarded, helping another life survive,” Dunn added. “To help something good happen in this world.”
Watch Sally’s heroic rescue in the video below.
Thank you, Joe, and all the kind folks who helped Sally. We are elated that she is safe! Scroll down for news footage on the dramatic rescue.