City workers, BARC save dog from sewer after 20-foot fall

By Erica Young

HOUSTON - Workers from the city of Houston and the city's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care joined forces to save a dog's life.

Contract workers found the dog trapped Friday in a sanitary sewer manhole on Dockal Road in northeast Houston. The workers called the city.

It is estimated that the dog might have been there for several days after surviving a 20-foot fall down the manhole.

The Department of Public Works and Engineering notified BARC, and they began a joint effort to rescue the wet and hungry dog.

"We knew we needed to act quickly to save this dog's life," said Public Works and Engineering managing engineer Steven Gee. "We quickly came up with a plan and started working to pull the dog out of the sewer."

The team performed an emergency confined-space entry and lowered a crew member down the manhole to retrieve the dog.

"He didn't bark or try to bite, and seemed thankful to be in the animal control truck," said Gee. "We gave him a blanket, clean water and some dog food on his trip to BARC.”

BARC named the 3-year-old pointer-mix Julian, but the recuse crew nicknamed him "Sewer Sam."

"We are so excited to see Julian become a member of the public works team'" said Ashtyn Rivet, BARC marketing and outreach manager. "Julian's story is yet another reminder that city departments work together to impact lives - both canine (and feline) and human!"

Julian, a.k.a. Sewer Sam, now has a permanent home with Gee, who adopted the dog.

In addition, the public work team has adopted "Sewer Sam" as its new mascot.

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