A family’s 15-year-old German Shepherd plunged into what appeared to be a sinkhole next to their California home, officials and multiple news outlets reported.
The family’s other dog alerted them to the missing dog’s whereabouts when it began barking at a hole in their backyard on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Compton, CBS News and the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The dog, Maya, had fallen about 15 feet into an old, empty septic tank that had never been filled in, the news outlet reported.
“It was very tense moments,” Maya’s owner, Alex Alfaro told KNBC. “We were so nervous. I was at a loss for words.”
Firefighters were able to retrieve the dog after about three hours, the outlet reported.
A video shows the dog after its been rescued from the hole with its owners hugging and holding it.
“Our urban search and rescue team trains every day for this sort of call,” Fire Cpt. Wade Kelsey told KTLA. “They have a bunch of specialized equipment, and they were able to put it to good use and save the dog’s life.”