Trapped dog free from pipe

Union Democrat staff /

Sonora City workers rescued a dog on Monday after it was stuck overnight in a storm drain.

The year-old pitbull mix named Katie went missing from her home on the first block of Summit Avenue about 2 p.m. Sunday.

The dog's owner, Heather Spears, 36, said she heard Katie yelping but couldn't find her anywhere. Spears and some family members walked around downtown Sonora calling for Katie to no avail.

About 11 a.m. Monday, a neighbor heard Katie yelping from inside a storm drain next to Spears' home. Spears ran down and called for Katie who barked back.

Sonora Public Works employees Kyle Keith, Bill Seldon, Mike Lagomarsino and Brian Wolverton arrived about 11:30 a.m. and began a rescue attempt.

They used a jackhammer to dig down toward the 170-foot-long pipe, but were interrupted before reaching it.

Keith said about 1:30 p.m. a dog showed up while they were drilling. He thought it was a neighbor's dog. He said the dog was playing around them for about five minutes as they worked when Spears said, "That's my dog!"

Seldon believed the noise from the jackhammer scared Katie enough for her to scurry up the drain pipe and come out the other end.

Spears said she was thankful for the city crews and believed Katie concurred as she ran up and licked the workers' hands.

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