It was a Sunday afternoon when Emily Ristevski, 15, spotted something furry in a drain below as her mother drove across a bridge off the Hume Highway in Warwick Farm.
The Wattle Grove residents pulled over to take a closer look and found a little Jack Russell Terrior cross, shivering and caught in the mud at about 2pm on November 26.
A few minutes later they caught the attention of a passerby named Rod (surname unknown) who made a phone call to his friend Bob Swan, an admin on a closed community Facebook page for rescuing pets.
Although Mr Swan was unable to attend, he sent an alert out to fellow pet rescuers on the Facebook page Bankstown/Liverpool/Fairfield Lost and Found Pets.
It wasn’t long until Andy Snook, another admin on the Facebook page raced down to help.
It was advised that a ladder was needed because the dog was at least eight to 10 feet down the drain, but Mr Snook didn’t have one and decided it was better to improvise and take action quickly, due to the state of the dog.
“I just jumped down there. I wasn’t worried about getting my clothes dirty or getting injured because when you’re my age you realise what’s more important. The dog was lucky because it was on the concrete ledge but if it was a bit further down where it was deeper and it could have drowned. When I got down there I realised the poor dog looked frightened and upset and that’s when it dawned on me – how was I going to get this dog out of there?” Mr Snook said.
“I have an old injury which restricted one of my arms but with my other good arm I managed to lift him up and hand him to Rod who waited up there for me. It wasn’t hard to get out of the drain. Then Emily wrapped him in towels which I had in my car and I took him home.”
Mr Snook said as soon as he reached his home in Wattle Grove, he bathed and fed the dog.
“I tried to settle him down but he wasn’t looking too good. His back legs weren’t working well and he wouldn’t eat. I had to hand feed him, which worked in the end.”
He scanned the dog with hopes he would be able to find his owners.
“Although he was microchipped his details hadn’t been updated. When I called the phone number provided, someone did answer but it wasn’t the owner. The owner had changed numbers and their previous number was recycled. So the person on the phone couldn’t help me.
“The Animal Welfare League are looking after him now. I was happy when I rescued the dog, I do this for the animals.”
It is uncertain how long the dog was stuck in the drain. Mr Swan said the dog could have been there for one to two days.
Mrs Ristevski and her daughter Emily were happy to find out the dog was safe.
“I have no doubt the dog wouldn't have survived the night if he wasn't seen by Emily. She was the one that insisted I turn around. I don’t even know how she’d seen him. That was amazing in itself,” Mrs Ristevski said.