A police officer saved three unmarked pit bulls that were stuck in a sewer drain under one of the business expressways in Brevard County, Florida on Oct. 27 (video below).
Cocoa Police Officer Matt Rush was driving around on routine patrol when he heard the sound of dogs barking.
"So, as I turned around, I went up to the sewer grate where I last heard the dogs barking, and noticed three large pit bulls stuck inside the sewer that was located in the eastbound lane," Rush told WESH.
The storm drain is in the median along a busy highway. The dogs reportedly dug their way underground through a pipe and were unable to escape. One of the dogs tried to poke its nose out of the sewer, while the others were barking.
“My first thought was how in the world did they get in there and how did I manage to hear them,” Rush told WESH. “I think they may have gotten in from a manhole across the street. It appears they dug their way in and then got stuck."
Rush contacted animal control for help. Animal services used lassos to hold the pit bulls in place, while firefighters worked to remove the storm drain grate. Once the grate was removed, officers coaxed the animals out of the manhole. One by one, the dogs left the drain.
None of the animals appeared to be harmed. It is unknown how long the dogs were stuck underground.
"Fortunately they came out in good shape," Rush said.
Animal control will work to find the owners of the three pit bulls. The dogs did not have tags, collars or microchips, but specialists stated that they seem to be family pets because of their tame, friendly nature and good upkeep.
Cocoa Police Department posted a video of the rescue to its Facebook page. WFTV's post of the ordeal has gained more than 13 million views in less than 24 hours, and has been shared more than 200,000 times.