A poodle that had been missing for two months was rescued 500 feet underground by two cavers in Perryville, Missouri. Owner Jeff Bohnert worried that he’d never see his beloved mixed-breed Abby, 13, again, but was beyond thrilled when cavers Gerry Keene and Rick Haley discovered her in the bowels of the Tom Moore caves south of St. Louis. Read on for the amazing tale, and scroll to the bottom for photos and videos of Abby’s rescue!
- Abby was in a pretty bad state when they discovered her. According to Haley, Abby was extremely thin, covered in dirt, and curled up on the mud floor with no strength left to bark or wag her tail. Thankfully, there was “ample water” in the cave to sustain her, Haley told MailOnline. “As for food, I can think of nothing. It was evident by inspection of her she hadn’t eaten in a very long time. It was heartbreaking to see this and think about how she endured,” he said.
- Keene and Haley immediately went to work getting Abby out of the cave. Once out, she was given urgent care and a nice duffle bag to rest in. Keene then got a hold of fire chief Rob Cahoon and together, they knocked on doors in the area to try and find Abby’s owner.
- Eventually, someone recognized Abby. Neighbors directed Abby’s rescuers to Bohnert, who couldn’t believe his pet had survived such an ordeal. Haley admitted that Abby was lucky not to have drowned in the “vertical” and “very tight” cave passage because it regularly fills with water. “At times, there was likely too much water. There was heavy rain in the time period she was there,” he said.
- Abby seems to be doing well. Bohnert revealed that Abby is recovering well and “getting back to herself” slowly but surely. Even Haley had to commend the animal’s spirit, joking to NPR that when her rescuers handed her a beef stick, she was “ready to go up for another adventure.” Let’s hope she stays a bit closer to home this time.