EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — An unusual rescue sent an El Dorado County Fire Protection District crew down a 100-year-old mine shaft in the Camino foothills.
Even in Gold Country, this was a first.
Firefighters were called to the rescue after a U.S. Department of Agriculture tracker, looking for a mountain lion reportedly attacking livestock, lost one of his tracking dogs, then discovered it using a GPS collar, underground, in a hole, down a mineshaft.
“Yeah, GPS attached to it. He got pretty close to the hole, heard some whimpering, and then kind of turned around and noticed there was a huge hole behind him,” El Dorado County firefighter Adam Wilson said.
“I’m assuming the dog picked up a scent and as it was going and it just fell right through that hole,” El Dorado County Fire firefighter Stephen Ramirez said.
The mine shaft was 50 feet deep.
“They’re there because this was Gold Country, so they were always out here mining,” Ramirez said.
The dog, named Penny was down at the bottom of the mine shaft. Photos show firefighter Ramirez deep inside the mine shaft retrieving Penny. Then the rescue, and the reunion, with Penny’s tracker pack.
“Penny was actually very relieved when she got back out so, she was happy to be out and was wagging her tail once we left so she was good,” Ramirez said.
It’s a tail that this fire crew won’t soon forget.
“It was down quite a bit,” Ramirez said.
The whole operation to save Penny took about an hour. She is now back with her trainer, ready for her next adventure.
The El Dorado County firefighters who saved her are ready for theirs too.