CNN

Missing Missouri dog was finally found, 500 feet underground in an intricate cave system

Aug 13, 2022, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:03 pm
(Courtesy: Rick Haley)...
(Courtesy: Rick Haley)
(Courtesy: Rick Haley)

(CNN) — When teacher and recreational caver Rick Haley set out to help map a cave on August 6, he had no idea he would end up staging a rescue mission — let alone reuniting a lost dog with her owner.

Haley, along with a team of around 30 spelunkers, was mapping a cave north of Perryville, Missouri as part of a project for the Cave Research Foundation. The cave is part of the Berome Moore cave system, Missouri’s second largest cave system, measuring around 22 miles, he told CNN.

Haley, 66, who was involved in logistics and managing problems on the expedition, exited the cave to find another caver and an assistant fire chief from the local fire department.

“Glad you’re here,” the fire chief told Haley. “You can help us do a dog cave rescue.”

Another group of parents and children visiting the cave for the day had encountered a dog deep in the cave before flagging Haley for help.

Haley and fellow caver Gerry Keene, both of whom have specialized cave rescue training, had to crawl and squeeze through tight passageways to get to the dog.

The dog was in poor shape, Haley said. “She didn’t seem to have any injuries,” he said. “But boy, she was really malnourished. She was skin and bones. She had mud on her.”

The lost canine was “lethargic” and reluctant to walk, said Haley. He placed a blanket in a duffel bag and she stepped in, allowing them to carefully maneuver her out of the cave.

The rescue mission took over an hour, according to Haley. Although their rescue training doesn’t cover dog rescues, he explained that “many of the same principles that you would use for a person you can use for a dog” — like keeping them warm and dry and being careful of any injuries.

“The dog was in bad shape,” said Haley. But once she was out of the cave, “her spirits perked up a bit.”

One member of the caving team canvassed the neighborhood with a photo of the dog in the cave before identifying her owner, who “was astonished to see the dog,” said Haley.

According to Haley, the owner said 13-year-old Abby had been missing since June 9 — meaning that she could have been in the cave for almost two months.

Haley said that it still isn’t clear how the dog ended up so far in the cave. She may have been chasing an animal like a mouse or raccoon, he said. And he speculated that flooding in the cave caused by heavy rains may have brought her deeper into the cave system.

“It’s a good feeling” to participate in the rescue, said Haley. He also credited the work of the team of cavers working with the Cave Research Foundation.

“I happened to be one of the only people on the surface at the time that the rescue needed to happen,” he said. But “if there had been all 30 of those cavers there, you would have found 30 people facilitating this rescue.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

CNN

An illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's LICIACube before the co...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s DART mission successfully slams into an asteroid

A NASA spacecraft has intentionally slammed into an asteroid in humanity's first test of planetary defense.
1 day ago
Amazon Prime van waiting to depart from the Amazon delivery centre in Channel Commercial Park in Be...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Amazon puts a second Prime Day sale on the calendar

Amazon is adding another Prime Day to the calendar.
1 day ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN

What you need to know about Iran’s raging protests

Protests have taken place in more than 40 cities, including the capital Tehran, with dozens reportedly killed.
1 day ago
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  In this photo illustration, One Pound coins are seen besides US Dol...
Jessie Yeung and Jonny Hallam, CNN Business

British pound plummets to record low against the dollar

The British pound fell to a new record all-time low against the US dollar of $1.035 on Monday, plummeting more than 4%.
2 days ago
Fentanyl (USCO)...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

What is rainbow fentanyl? Colorful pills drive new warnings about deadliest drug in the US

Rainbow Fentanyl warnings released by DEA to inform people of the deadly drug made to look like candy as Halloween quickly approaches.
2 days ago
A soldier with Ukraine's Territorial Defense walks up to an abandoned home on June 29, 2022 in the ...
Katharina Krebs, Radina Gigova, Simone McCarthy and Sana Noor Haq, CNN

Protests, drafting mistakes and an exodus: Putin’s mobilization off to chaotic start

Russia's "partial mobilization" for its war in Ukraine is off to a chaotic start amid protests, drafting mistakes and an exodus of citizens fleeing Russia, as the Kremlin tightens rules around evading military orders.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Missing Missouri dog was finally found, 500 feet underground in an intricate cave system