San Diego

Puppy, Out on Walk With Owner, Falls Down Drain in Chula Vista

Matthew Peck had only had the puppy – a Maltese Yorkie mix – for a few days when the heartbreaking accident happened

A puppy out on a walk with his owner slipped and fell down an open drain in Chula Vista Tuesday, prompting firefighters to launch a delicate operation that ended in heartache.

The Chula Vista Fire Department said the pup fell down the drain at around 5:30 a.m. in the 800-block of Regulo Place and was unable to get out. CVFD Deputy Chief Harry Muns said crews surrounded the drain and began investigating different ways to safely extricate the pup. By 8 a.m., public works crews were on their way to help.

Matthew Peck, the puppy’s owner, told NBC 7 his family had only had the Maltese Yorkie – named “A.J.” – for a few days. He was out walking with A.J. before work when the pup slipped off to go to the bathroom and fell down the uncovered drain.

Peck said he ran to the drain and couldn’t see A.J. but could hear him whimpering. He called 911.

“We kept hearing the gurgling; that’s what I’m worried about,” Peck said. “It sounded progressively worse and worse – the whimpering.”

After a while, A.J.’s gasps for air stopped. Peck knew the worse had happened.

“I really don’t want to tell my son,” Peck lamented.

By 10 a.m., with no sign of life down that drain, firefighters and crews at the scene called the operation a loss and began clearing the scene.

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