Firefighters Rescue Small Dog Trapped in HVAC Duct by Cutting Hole in Ceiling

Combined Shape

Dogs and kids have a knack for getting into situations we didn’t know were possible to get into. They expand our horizons, open our minds, and drain our wallets.

It’s all fun and games after some harrowing incident takes place, but the process of getting our smallish loved ones out of a tricky situation they’ve gotten themselves into is nerve-racking.

In this particular case, the incident occurred because of the catastrophic teaming up of dog and child. According to WTOP, the child had removed a vent grate to the HVAC ducts in the house, and the dog went trotting in.

It’s unclear if the pup was coerced in any fashion, but the result was the same: There was a dog somewhere in the house’s HVAC duct.

The dog’s absence was not noted for some time, which — to be honest — is understandable. Many dogs, especially lap dogs like this one, spend their days snoozing in some comfy corner, particularly if the corner is washed with sunlight.

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Once the owner realized what had happened, though, the Fairfax County firemen were brought in. One of their first ideas was to lure the dog out.

They considered using tuna fish since the smell would entice the dog to exit its metal warren, but the dog was too far. Plus, as some commenters noted, there are often sharp sheet metal edges in some systems that could tear up the dog’s feet, so the less movement, the better.

The next step was to locate the unfortunate pooch. The easiest way to access the dog was through the basement, so they found where the pup was, used a ladder to reach the ceiling, and cut through it with a drywall knife.

“It’s okay,” Firefighter Williams said as he gently maneuvered the dog. “It’s okay. All right. It’s okay.”

He reassured the dog, who had likely been stuffed in the duct for hours, as he worked it free. “I’m not gonna hurt you,” he said. “Take your time. Come on. I got you. I won’t pull you.”

At that point, the dog had its head and front legs free, and Williams carefully cradled it and lowered it down. “I got you! Give me your little legs. All right. There you go.”

A woman reached up for the dog and hugged it. Someone thanked Williams, who acted totally unfazed. Just another day on the job.

“All right,” he said. “No problem.”

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Fairfax Fire and Rescue had fun with the post, later tweeting about the rescue with dog puns galore.

“Engine 427, West Springfield, responded to a ruff and far-fetched rescue last night,” the caption read. “A small dog was trapped in an HVAC duct.”

“Crews took a paws to shed light on dogs location and work out strategy. Firefighter Williams cut a hole in ceiling and retrieved dog. A pawsitive outcome!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking