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Pup’s sewer slog

Community: After Great Dane attack, Chihuahua ends up in storm drain, survives

Posted: March 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Freddie trots through the grass in his owner’s backyard Monday, safe after a Great Dane attack and spending a few nights away from home. Lisa Hall, Freddie’s owner, was knocked down by the Great Dane before it bit Freddie.

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A Saugus resident’s Chihuahua was safe at home Monday after being lost in a storm drain.

On Wednesday, Lisa Hall was walking her two small dogs on Pamplico Street in Saugus when a Great Dane raced up, jumped on its hind legs and knocked her to the ground.

As Hall got to her feet, the Great Dane picked up her 8-pound Chihuahua, Freddie, in its mouth and, somehow, forced him into a storm drain.

The Great Dane’s owner eventually got her dog under control and Hall rushed to the storm drain. Freddie’s leash was lying on the ground, partially inside the drain.

But when Hall pulled the leash, Freddie wasn’t on the other end.

The tan and black Chihuahua had fallen inside the storm drain and spent March 9 alone in Saugus.

Hall said she called 911 when her dog went into the storm drain, but firefighters couldn’t find Freddie after more than an hour’s worth of searching.

The following day, Hall called Santa Clarita City Hall for help. Workers climbed inside manholes on Pamplico Street as the search for Freddie continued.

“We get calls for wallets, cell phones, iPods and things like that, but a dog is a little unusual,” said Environmental Services Supervisor Scott Hamilton. “We looked in the manhole and called for the dog. We searched for a good 45 minutes.”

Hamilton said at first they thought Freddie might have fallen down a drainage pipe, 48 inches in diameter, that drains into a channel near Saugus High School and is connected to the catch basin the dog fell in.

But it’s likely Freddie walked a few blocks to a different storm drain and jumped out, Hamilton said. The storm drain Freddie fell in is 2 feet deep.

Animal control found him the next day, roaming Open Crest Drive.

While Freddie remained missing, Hall got more nervous. Though he was found March 10, the two weren’t reunited until March 11.

“I cried for two days,” Hall said. “I can imagine he was quite shaken up and scared.”

Hall said she was “grasping at straws” when she searched online Friday morning to see if her dog had been picked up by the shelter. Moments later, Hall saw her dog’s face on the computer screen.

Freddie was at the Castaic Animal Shelter. Hall was relieved.

She picked her dog up, got him checked out at the veterinarian and took him home.

“I couldn’t get on the phone quick enough to tell (the animal shelter) that he was mine,” Hall said. “I love that dog with all my heart.”

On Monday, Freddie was back home without bite marks or any physical harm.

“Everyone is kind of baffled at how (Freddie) survived,” Hall said. “I don’t let my dogs outside at night because there are coyotes out here.”

It wasn’t the first time Freddie had found himself in trouble. Hall said she found the stray Chihuahua in September. Freddie was dodging cars on Highway 111 near Indian Wells, Calif.

“From the day I met him, he never left my side,” Hall said. “He’s my new friend.”

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