Sandi’s owner insisted she be removed from the ravine first.

By Madison Pincombe
October 19, 2020
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Texas firefighters performed a technical rope rescue to help a dog and her owner out of a 50-foot ravine Sunday. 

Sandi is a nearly 15-year-old golden retriever-collie mix who Diane and Chad McManus rescued in 2006. “She can hardly walk, she’s got bad arthritis and she’s deaf,” Diane told the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

At some point Saturday, Sandi wandered between the McManuses’ chain-link fence and the neighbor’s wood fence. The McManuses’ yard backs up to a deep ravine that has widened over time because of erosion from a drainage ditch. They believe Sandi’s unsteadiness and inability to see in the dark caused her to fall into the ravine, the Police Reporter wrote.

The McManuses and their friends searched for Sandi but were initially unsuccessful. The next morning, Chad felt confident that Sandi had fallen into the ravine. He slid down, and after a 30-minute search, he found her injured and dehydrated. Chad called his wife to let her know he had found Sandi, and Diane immediately called 911 to help get both of them out of the ravine.

Needham Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and immediately called The Woodlands Fire Department Technical Rescue Team for assistance with the low-angle rescue.

Chad had no injuries, so he insisted that Sandi be removed first. The firefighters placed a vest on Sandi and brought her up the steep wall to safety. Once Sandi was out, Chad was hooked to a rescue line and climbed out. A Needham firefighter transported Sandi to a veterinary hospital to receive care for her injuries.

“Very successful rescue and great team effort by all,” Assistant Chief of Operations for Needham Fire and Rescue William Dicker told the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

According to a Montgomery County Police Reporter update to the story, Sandi requires surgery for a fractured front leg and an MRI of her back leg and hip area.