Two dogs that were rescued by firefighters from an enclosed storm drain reunited with their owners.
NBC10 confirmed with a family member that the two dogs, Ginger and Jetta, reunited with their family Saturday.
The ordeal began Friday night when a resident heard the Beagle-Labrador retriever mix and German Shorthaired Pointer barking from 15 feet below street-level at Clover Lane in Feasterville.
"The dogs were barking, that's how they were found," Feasterville Fire Department Deputy Chief James McKeon told NBC10.
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Firefighters' efforts were hampered initially because the dogs were scared when the six-foot, steel grate was removed. They scurried into the 36-inch pipe connecting the drainage system throughout the neighborhood.
But McKeon said he came up with the idea of opening a fire hydrant up-pipe and washing a couple inches of water through the pipe to force the dogs back to waiting firefighters. Lower Southampton firefighter Ryan Brooks had to be lowered into the drain to pull each dog out one by one.
"They are scared, it's not their ideal environment," Brooks said. "They were very cooperative but it was just difficult bringing them out of the piping itself."
The entire operation took about two and a half hours, McKeon said.
"It worked and we got them out," McKeon said. "Both dogs were in decent condition. Very saturated with water."
Once the cold dogs were safe and warming up in a Lower Southampton police van, everyone realized they had no dog tags with identification. They also didn't have microchips and none of the neighbors on Clover Lane recognized them.
They were taken to a nearby kennel, Town and Country Kennel on Langhorne Avenue, for observation, McKeon said, with the hope that their owner might come looking for them.
"In that neighborhood, there are no open inlets or access points. It's a closed system," McKeon said of the perplexing question: How would two dogs end up in the storm water drain? "Some residents think they may have come from another neighborhood on the other side of Bustleton Pike, which is about half a mile to three-quarters of a mile away."
The dogs recovered at the kennel Saturday morning after a good night's rest, though the Beagle-Labrador retriever mix, about 10 or 11 years old, needed a massage after waking up.
"She was really sore," Liz Lowney-Carpino, the owner of the kennel, told NBC10.
As both dogs recovered at the kennel Saturday, their owners came forward. The dogs were eventually reunited with their family. The owner didn't reveal many details regarding how the dogs ended up in the storm drain, only saying that the animals "took off" while they were outside Friday night in Feasterville.