SPCA, fire department work together to rescue terrified dog from a well

A terrified dog was rescued in a two-hour operation by the Pietermaritzburg SPCA and the Msunduzi Fire Department after it fell down a three-metre deep well and was trapped. 

Pietermaritzburg SPCA inspector Thobile Gumede received a call on Sunday afternoon from a man in Dennis Shepstone Drive, who alerted them to the dog’s plight and asked for help in rescuing it.

“When I got to the well, I took one look and knew the rescue was going to be a lot harder than I had expected.

“The well was very deep and very narrow so I rushed back to the office to get some equipment, and asked my colleague Scelo Zuma to come with me and help.

“I also called the fire department and asked them to help with the rescue.”

She said the fire department got to the well within minute, and then lowered an extended ladder down into the hole.

Gumede said Zuma went down and had to muzzle the dog because she was scared and tried to bite Zuma when he attempted to lift her up.

Once the dog was muzzled, one of the firemen went down and helped tie ropes around the dog’s body to lift her up.

“The whole thing took about two hours because the dog was just so traumatised,” said Gumede.

Msunduzi firefighter Byrone Brauns, who had been at the scene, said the fire department “has formed an alliance with the SPCA” and felt “like heroes” after rescuing the petrified pooch.

“We had to use long, extended ladders because the well was so deep. We tried our best to get her out without hurting her. We love working with the SPCA. Rescuing animals is always so rewarding.”

Gumede said when the dog was finally lifted out, everyone was amazed that she had no serious injuries. “It was a miracle that she had no fractures or broken bones from her ordeal. All she has is a scratch on her nose.”

She said the SPCA named her Hlengiwe which means saved. The dog is being kept at the Pietermaritzburg SPCA kennels.

The three-metre deep well that the dog fell into on Sunday.

She said the SPCA would be working with Hlengiwe to reduce her trauma and hoped that she would be less scared in a few days.

The SPCA thanked the firefighters involved in the rescue. They were Tracy Zuma, Byrone Brauns, Neil Beyers, Franklin Brown, Keegan Naicker and Dave Bellin. Brauns added that the old well was very dangerous as it was not covered and an adult or child could fall inside.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said they will investigate the issue of the open well.

The rescued dog, named Hlengiwe by SPCA staff.