It required the services of the Buffalo Fire Department, city sewer and county water crews and a construction excavator, but a tiny 3-month-old puppy was finally freed from a sewer line Wednesday evening and delivered to the arms of his anxious owners.
Bailey, a teacup Yorkshire terrier owned by Edward and Lille Sayles, slipped into the sewer line in front of the family’s home on Warwick Avenue shortly after being let out at around 4 p.m.
The rescue effort attracted growing interest – and even some live television coverage – before Bailey was brought out, unharmed but dirtier for his adventure, shortly after 6 p.m.
About two dozen residents of the Bailey Avenue neighborhood gave out a cheer.
Edward Sayles said he had let Bailey out at about 4 p.m., unaware that someone had knocked the cover off what Public Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak described as a sewer vent on the lawn.
The tiny dog, one of three owned by the Sayles family and the only puppy in the group, fell into the hole. Sayles ran out to try to rescue the barking puppy, only to realize he would have to dig to free Bailey. That caught the attention of a Buffalo Fire Department crew in the area, and the firefighters called Hannah Demolition for help.
Hannah employees Rick Gulczewski and Ron Rytel brought the excavator from the company’s Baitz Avenue headquarters. After about six minutes of digging in the front lawn, the sewer line was reached. An Erie County Water Authority crew removed a 4-foot piece of pipe and Bailey crawled to them. He was lifted out of the hole and given to his mistress, whom he licked profusely.
Then he was taken in the house for a much-needed bath.