First responders reunite 12-year-old dog with family after pooch goes missing overnight


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) – Rescuing animals is just part of the job when it comes to protecting and serving a community. One dog owner had some helping hands Monday from the Black Jack Fire Protection District and the St. Louis County Police Department.

It all began Sunday night, when Rusty Payne, a 12-year-old chihuahua, chose to wander off after being let outside.

“He’s been a naughty little boy,” said Terry Payne, Rusty’s owner. “Had me looking for him all night. My husband and I got up this morning we’re looking for him and, for some reason, he got stuck in the gutter.”

A scratching noise coming from below ground tipped off Terry to Rusty Payne’s predicament – somehow, Rusty fell into a drain pipe.

Firefighters from Black Jack’s Engine House 2 responded to the scene.

“Climbed down in the sewer but the dog decided it wanted to run under the street in the sewer pipe,” said Black Jack Fire Captain Mike Beckmann. So, it took some coaxing. Other guys put a firehose in the other side to punch it back to the one side so we could grab it.”

“Me and my husband are so grateful and thankful,” Terry said.

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