Saskatchewan dog 'beat the odds' to survive nearly month in well
Published Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:06PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 21, 2016 12:37PM EDT
A family dog in southern Saskatchewan is recovering after surviving nearly a month trapped at the bottom of a well.
Bruno, a seven-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, disappeared in mid-September. He was without food and suffered from the falling temperatures until he was found late last week.
“His eyes were sunk in, they were infected,” an emotional Cindy Billesberger, the dog’s owner, told CTV Regina. “He’s lost fur off his back end and was just a mess.”
Billesberger had seen the dog earlier on Sept. 17, running in a field near the family’s farm in Estevan, located about 200 kilometres southeast of Regina -- near the U.S.-Canada border.
Since Bruno’s disappearance, the desperate dog owner said she did everything she could to find the beloved animal.
“We called vet clinics within about a 100-kilometre radius,” she said. “We called humane societies and I even called the Regina Humane Society to see if maybe someone had taken him and brought him (there).”
But Billesberger wasn’t able to get any information on Bruno’s whereabouts. As temperatures began to dip below zero and snow started falling, the Billesbergers began to lose hope they’d ever find Bruno alive.
Nearly a month after Bruno had disappeared, Billesberger’s husband found him at the bottom of a 3.2-metre-deep well while on a walk with the family’s other dogs.
Billesberger said that’s when the entire family jumped into action.
“My son -- when he pulled him out -- had to pry his two front paws out of the mud,” Billesberger said. “They were already starting to get stuck in there as it was dry.”
Bruno was barely alive. He was suffering from cuts, bruises, infections and severe weight loss. But miraculously, he had suffered no organ damage.
The dog is now being treated by veterinarians at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.
“(Bruno) beat the odds,” said Kristin Caldwell of the Prairie Animal Health Centre in Weyburn, Sask.
“Most pets…wouldn’t have survived even half, a third, a quarter of the time that Bruno survived in there,” she said, adding that the staff thought the dog only had a few days to live when he first arrived at the clinic.
Caldwell said it’s still unclear how long it will take Bruno to recover. In the meantime, the lab is receiving some much-deserved love and attention.
The well Bruno fell into has since been filled to avoid similar accidents.
With a report form CTV Regina’s Adam Gamble