Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Firefighters Spend Hours Saving German Shepherd Who Fell In A 60-Foot Well

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on February 6, 2023

Most of us have made the “Timmy falling down a well joke” while never believing that it would actually happen to us. But that’s exactly what happened to nine-year-old Indy’s dad. He watched his sweet Shepard disappear down into a deep hole that used to be a well right in front of his very eyes. 

And it took firefighters over four hours to finally get him out safely.


Indy, a 9-year-old retired K9, was playing with his furry sibling on a property in California when he unexpectedly fell into a deep hole right in front of their dad. Indy, the German Shepherd, had once been a member of an Arizona police force and was adopted by a retired service member. 

Multiple fire crews, along with police, responded to the stressful scene.

The rescue crews attempted multiple different maneuvers, including sending down a number of different specialized hooks and lowering a lasso, but they seriously struggled to rescue him. Nothing was working, and poor Indy had to wait longer and longer.

“But because of the way the hole was, nothing was long enough to make it down. You couldn’t put any personnel down into that situation. You couldn’t put anybody down there. The ground was too unstable; there was no way to shore it up,” said Ken Gilden of the San Diego Humane Society Emergency Response Team.


Even Indy’s dad, who’s retired from the military, begged to be lowered into the hole. But rescue crews claimed that OSHA regulations wouldn’t allow him, or even a firefighter, to be put into the incredibly dangerous situation.

Crews were worried that the hole might cave-in from the recent rains that had been affecting their area. Plus, the hole that used to be a well didn’t go straight down, and complicated rescue efforts.

But finally, after four long hours, Indy was saved from this scary situation. 

“And nothing was happening, and then right at the end, the dog lifted his head, and the firefighter who had the lasso was able to get it around his neck. And as soon as he did, they pulled it tight, and we just brought him right up,” said Ken.

Indy was alive and alert when he was rescued, but he did sustain some injuries, including some cuts and bruises that will require multiple trips to his vet to properly treat. Luckily, his doting dad will be there to spoil him as he heals.

When interviewed, the owner of the property where Indy and his sibling were playing said he was unaware of the deep, dangerous hole. After all, it was covered in overgrown weeds and vines. 

You can watch the moment the fire crew finally rescues Indy from the 60-foot hole, below.

Featured Images: YouTube

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog