Fire Crews Use Cooking Oil to Free Dog Trapped in Boulder

Department wins PETA's Compassionate Fire Department Award

By Joe Young and Lauren Steussy
|  Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011  |  Updated 12:07 PM PDT
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Fire Crews Use Oil to Free Trapped Dog

Alpine fire officials rescued a dog from between a boulder on September 20, 2011.

It was a trying day for one pooch that had to be rescued by fire officials after falling, and becoming trapped, between a split boulder early Tuesday morning in Alpine.

Alpine Fire department officials received a call at about 8:26 a.m. that a dog was stuck between rocks in the in the 2600 block of Big Wheel Way, near Big Wagon Road, said Alpine Fire Chief, Bill Paskle.

Once officials arrived on the scene they found a dog unable to free itself from a split boulder measuring approximately 15’ tall and 30’ in diameter.

The dog fell between the rock’s split half after walking on top of it, said Paskle. The animal landed in the rock’s crevasse on the ground and became wedged between the two sections.

After assessing the situation, officials initially used the Jaws of Life in order to create a space to free the dog, however they were unsuccessful after repeated attempts,  Paskle said.

At that point, Viejas Fire Department officials who had responded to the scene tried to use air bags in order to create space, however, their attempts were unsuccessful as well.

Officials finally decided to use poles and ropes to lasso the dog and with a bit of oil for lubrication, they were able to free the animal.

“[The dog] didn’t seem any the worse for wear except covered in vegetable oil and tired, " Paskle said , "but happy to be free and reunited with its owner.”

The department won PETA's Compassionate Fire Department Award on Tuesday for reuniting the pup with his pal. Crews will receive a framed certificate and letter from the organization.

 "Alpine is very fortunate to have first responders who are ready to protect and serve both human residents and their beloved animal companions," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a statement.

Watch a video of the rescue on the department's Facebook page.

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