FORT GIBSON — A 6-day-old puppy who was rescued from ductwork after three days has been taken to the Checotah Animal Shelter.
The shelter volunteered to provide medical care for the tiny, abandoned pup after it spent three days away from its mother in a dank, dark space under a building on Poplar Street in Fort Gibson.
Tuesday afternoon’s dramatic rescue affected Gina Wilson a great deal — she had been there most of the three days using Facebook to keep people updated and making phone calls to plead for help.
Wilson said the male puppy is now named “Wylin” for the rescuers who brought the life-saving equipment and pulled the puppy to safety – Wyly Acres Company and Mullin Plumbing.
The puppy had been swept into the maze-like ductwork during heavy rains Sunday morning — along with 11 of its siblings.
Wilson helped rescue four of the puppies Sunday afternoon, but found six did not survive. She and other volunteers could hear the last puppy, but not see or reach it. The mother has not returned for the puppies.
The building owner, Neal Boatright of Fort Gibson, was able to be reached Tuesday afternoon and gave his permission for rescuers to enter the building to cut a hole in the 4-inch concrete floor to reach the puppy.
Up until that point, Bryan Underwood from Mullin Plumbing and Wyly and Lindsy Hayes with Wyly Acres had been working with a main line camera, poles, pipes, and anything else they could find to reach the puppy and gently drag it closer to rescue.
They had moved it from about 48 feet away to only 15 feet away. But a twisted and sharp piece of metal ductwork blocked them from reaching the puppy or moving it any closer.
Underwood said the all-day work is a donation, and there will be no charge. In addition, he said Mullin Plumbing would cover the cost of the floor repairs, and many people on Facebook have been pledging monetary donations to help with the repairs.
Boatright said he appreciates the offer, but will take care of the repairs himself, if needed.
“So glad the little guy was able to be saved. Thank you to all the volunteers, and those who want to donate for repairs can give to the Fort Gibson Animal Shelter,” Boatright said.
Boatright had been out the night before to try and help, and had even begun tearing up some flooring with a sledgehammer — however, the puppy couldn’t be located and rescuers went home for the night, feeling dejected.
Underwood said he’s had to rescue cats from attics and crawlspaces before, but “nothing this intense.” “I’m glad it turned out the way it did,” he said. “We got down there for a little bit, but as soon as we got permission to cut the floor, we knew we had him.”
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.