Animal control officers rescued a mother Chihuahua and her newborn puppies from a south Dallas storm drain on Friday.
It took two animal control officers, and some ingenuity, to rescue the stray dog and her two newborn puppies.
The dog had given birth to the puppies earlier this week inside a 20-foot-long drain pipe beneath the driveway of a house in the 2200 block of Royal Oaks Drive.
The homeowner, Tommy Roberts, told NBC 5 he and his son, 10-year-old Justin, could hear the puppies whimpering from inside the pipe. But the mother would not allow them to get close to the pipe, according to Roberts. Even if they could approach the dog, they were too deep inside of the pipe to reach them, Roberts said. The puppies were approximately 13 feet deep inside the pipe.
A neighbor called Dallas Animal Services, which responded by sending two officers to help.
Rain was an added concern that was expected to arrive early Saturday.
"You know we're gonna get some rain Saturday and Sunday, and it floods right here so me and the neighbors were gonna do something to get them out," Roberts said.
"They're very small dogs so they would not make it," said Daynara Castillo of Dallas Animal Services about the threat of the impending rain.
Castillo and fellow officer Jerry Chandler struggled for hours to reach the dogs.
"The drain was so long [and] we didn't have the right equipment," Chandler told NBC 5. "We had to make our own."
What Chandler and Castillo did was duct tape two long poles together, affix a flashlight to one of them, and secure a plastic bucket, that had been used as a food bowl in a failed attempt to coax the dogs out, to the end.
"We had to get the food bowl, put two holes in it and stick a pole through it to cup the pups inside just to bring them out," Chandler said about their invention.
The invention worked, with the officers scooping each puppy out. The mother followed on her own, Chandler said.
"Great day. Excellent day," is how Castillo described the result of their effort.
"Very happy. Very happy," Chandler said about his reaction to the rescue. "This right here, I rank this at the top."
The puppies will be isolated with their mother over the next few weeks before they are placed with a foster home, according to Catherine McManus, operations manager of Dallas Animal Services.
After approximately eight weeks they will be available for adoption.