A TINY puppy trapped 10m down a stormwater drainpipe was freed by firefighters using their confined space rescue equipment.
The three-week-old labrador had been trapped underground after falling into a drain that feeds water from the downpipe to the gutter or natural watercourse.
In this instance, the pipe ran under the backyard with its outlet some distance away.
Gympie firefighters responded to a frantic call from the Flight family on Monday evening when they returned to their Southside home after a day out and noticed the litter of 10 had reduced to nine.
They could hear her crying and began phoning around for an animal rescue expert, but after several unsuccessful calls was advised to ask the local firefighters.
"They were fantastic," Teresa Flight said.
"We could hear her in the pipe so the firefighters used a camera and put it down the pipe at the top."
They couldn't see her so the crew dug up sections of the pipe in the backyard to get a better look.
The little black pup kept moving, making it difficult to get her out and after about an hour they had her between two holes in the pipe.
Using a stick with cloth wrapped around the end, the firefighter prodded her gently towards the opening while another waited to scoop her up as she came out.
"She's still a bit traumatised," Mrs Flight said.
"We don't know how long she was down there as we were out most of the day.
The Flights are now considering keeping the little lab and have called her Piper in memory of her ordeal.
They have nine other pure labrador puppies to find homes for in five weeks.
Anyone interested can phone 5483 7722.
Forget the old cliche of firefighters rescuing cats from trees; Gympie firefighters have been called on to remove several snakes from homes this year and they even rescued a cow from a septic tank in July.
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