The dramatic footage shows the heroic rescue and reunion of ‘Dewey’ the dog trapped at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep cave—for over two weeks.
Elizabeth Acosta filmed the operation as rescuers climbed into the huge cave to save the emaciated pup.
The rescue team, led by experienced caver Tray Heinke, were actually trying to locate the perfect spot for a member of the group to propose to his partner when they spotted the pup.
Sharp-eyed hero Josiah Meert saw movement at the bottom of the 30-foot-deep pit at Dewey Hickman Nature Reserve, Indiana, and realized it was a dog. The group put aside their plans and raced off to grab ropes, helmets, and harnesses and, with teamwork and determination, ‘Dewey’ was freed in only 30 minutes.
Tray said, “We spotted his collar about 15 feet down surrounded by claw marks. He then withstood another 15-foot drop to the floor of the pit. He’d lost about 86lbs.”
“We firmly believe that had he been in the pit only a few more days, he’d be gone. Everything depended on the outcome of the rescue so once he was safe and given a bite to eat, Sean popped the question… and she said yes!
“You could hear the cheers a mile away.”Tray Heinke’s reunion footage shows the incredible moment the pup was reunited with his relieved owners.
‘Dewey’, initially nicknamed after where he was found, excitedly runs over to his family who are delighted to be back with their loving pet, actually named Hawkeye.
His owners confirmed that he was lost just over two weeks before his rescue. Tray added, “Getting Hawkeye out of the cave was huge but finding his owner and reuniting them so quickly was the icing on the cake. “
The power of social media! We didn’t expect a quick reunion. However within two days of finding him, we’d connected with his owners and made arrangements to meet! “
I think this nightmare could have been avoided had Hawkeye been neutered. He blindly followed a female scent into the wilderness, animal instincts aren’t always the best!
“The quick rescue and reunion were also very lucky, so it’s best to leave situations like this to experienced professionals. If one of us had fallen in too, we’d have really been screwed.“We’re all very proud to be a part of this story, the world could use some good news right now.”