Rescued Dog Under Quarantine After Biting Firefighter

By: Chris Frank/Associated Press Email
By: Chris Frank/Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Friday, April 13, 2012

The rescue of a dog named Taz by Wichita firefighters is getting national attention. On Friday, the video of the rescue was featured on ABC's Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Owner John Huy says he and Taz take a long walk just about every day. Those walks are on hold for now because Taz is restricted by an animal control quarantine to his backyard.

Taz is grounded because he bit a firefighter during his rescue. Huy says Taz is friendly towards people and never aggressive. He says Taz likely bit the firefighter because he got overly excited during the commotion of the rescue.

"It was just a snap. It wasn't an attack," said Huy.

Wichita Animal Control supervisor Dennis Graves says Kansas rabies regulations require any animal involved in a bite be quarantined as a routine health precaution. Taz will remain under quarantine until April 22.

Huy and Taz took refuge under the Harry Street bridge over Gypsum Creek during Thursday's thunderstorm. Huy says the thunder scared Taz, causing him to run away and hide in an opening at the bottom of the embankment.

"He was driving me nuts and I said he's not going anywhere. It's raining hard. He won't go out. So the first thing he does is go out in that water and get under that ledge," said Huy.

The water rose quickly, trapping Taz. He couldn't get free without help.

"I could coax him out to where his head would show but I couldn't get him to egress," said Huy.

Wichita Fire Department Deputy Chief Tammy Snow says the firefighter saw a physician after the rescue. She says his status and condition is undetermined at this time.

UPDATE: Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jon Huy and his dog, Taz, were out for a walk. Huy says the storm overtook them, so he and his 100-pound Lab mix sought shelter under the bridge. Huy says a clap of thunder frightened Taz, the dog ran into the creek, and Huy couldn’t find him.

The Wichita Fire Department Heavy Rescue Team jumped into action, putting the same effort into this rescue they’d put into any. Power saws and sledgehammers were used to break a hole, which could lead to the dog’s potential hiding place – a ledge not reachable because the water rose so quickly, even an underwater camera couldn’t spot the dog. Then suddenly…

First his nose popped out of a hole, and then firefighters made room for Taz to emerge. But even getting him out wasn’t a walk in the park as a firefighter in a wet suit found out.

Taz didn’t know the strangers were there for his good. One was bitten. He’s sore but okay. Firefighters had Taz’s owner put on a life jacket to entice the dog out.

Dog owner John Huy says, "What can I say? I just thank these guys so much for their effort and their success. They went the extra mile."

An extra mile that’s all in a day’s work for the team of skilled firefighters.

Wichita Fire Captain John Wells says, "As long as we were operating at a safe manner we were going to keep looking until we knew there was no hope for the dog. And we though we'd come to that point but lo and behold he was still alive poking his nose out of our last hole."

It's the miraculous, happy ending we all hope for but we don't always get to see.

UPDATE: Thursday, April 12, 2012

A dog has been pulled to safety after it spent nearly two hours trapped under a southeast Wichita bridge.

Crews were called to the report of a submersion near Harry and Governeour around 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Crews found a man trying to rescue his dog.

Officials said the man and a 100 lb. lab mix were walking in the area, when they walked over a drainage ditch. The dog fell into the water and became trapped under the bridge.

The man was not hurt.

KAKE's Chris Frank was at the scene when crews pulled the dog to safety. Watch for his report tonight on KAKE News at 6.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Emergency crews are trying to rescue a dog after it became stuck in a drainage ditch.

It happened near Harry and Governour around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officials said a man was walking his dog in the area, when they walked across a drainage ditch. The man tried to rescue the dog when it became stuck in the water.

Authorities believe the dog may be stuck under the bridge. The man was not hurt.

KAKE News does have a crew at the scene and will provide updates as they become available.

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