On Thursday night, the residents of Safilguda in Hyderabad had a herculean task at hand: To rescue a dog that had been stuck in a gap between two buildings in their locality for the past three days.
A few residents from the locality decided to call the members of the Compassionate Society for Animals. The members, in turn, informed the Disaster Management Force, the Fire force and the Safilguda police, who were all quick to reach the spot.
Then began the task to remove the dog stuck there. However, neither the DMF nor the fire department could rescue the animal despite trying every method possible for nearly two hours. The dog had managed to get itself stuck between two buildings that were just about the breadth of a brick apart.
At first, the teams tried to tie a rope to the dog’s legs and pull it out. However, since the gap between the walls was minimal, dragging the dog out would have hurt it. Then, someone from the crowd suggested that they pour kerosene on the dog or bury it with sand and leave it to die.
“That’s when I realised I had to act quickly,” says Panneeru Teja, a member of the Humane Society International and volunteer for the Compassionate Society for animals, who was present at the spot.
“It was difficult to let the people understand that how inhuman it was to simply kill an animal. I told them if the dog rots to death there, it would turn to be a bigger menace with the unbearable stench and the decomposing body. This sort of put sense into their mind and they finally agreed to help me rescue the animal,” Teja says.
Dog stuck between the two walls
After an hour of brainstorming, Teja decided to take matters into his hands. “We first thought of pulling the dog out of the gap with a rope. But after trying for about an hour and more, we understood it was futile. The dog was hurt and it was difficult to tie the rope around its legs. That’s when I thought why not enter the gap myself and rescue the dog?”
Teja has been closely associated with animal welfare organisations and has rescued many canines in the past 10 years. So he decided to wade in between the walls and grab the animal by its foot.
But how easy do you think it is for a 25-year-old for slip into a gap about the breadth of a brick? “I have a slim figure and quite a flexible body. I thought I could do this too, but it wasn’t easy,” Teja recalls.
Teja says it took him another one hour to move inch by inch and get himself almost plastered on the wall. “The gap was so less that I could use only one hand at a time and had to grab the dog by its legs to pull it out. The dog could move its rear body but had its head completely stuck. So, I had to be really careful while pulling it out so as to not hurt its head,” Teja says.
Teja managed to tie a rope to the dog’s hind legs and then slowly pulled the dog out. “After much struggle, the dog could free its head. As soon as this happened, we took the dog out with one firm pull to the rope, as the crowd hooted and cheered,” says Teja.
Teja was clearly the hero of the day. But did the dog turn back to thank its rescuer?
“Haha, no,” says Teja. “As soon as it was rescued, it simply ran away for the good of his life.”