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Student Rescues Chihuahua Stuck in Sewer

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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio-- When a member of the family goes missing, there are many anxious moments wondering what has happened.  But, a Bay Village family has a passerby and police to thank for their “dog-gone” happy ending.

Pepe, a 13-year-old Chihuahua, is back safe with the Roybal family. The dog spent 1 ½ days in a storm sewer drain. He had somehow fallen in and couldn’t get out on his own.  "I assumed the worst because it was too cold and he's old," Pepe’s owner, Martin Roybal, said.

The Roybals had put both of their Chihuahuas outside. But, Pepe, who is deaf and partially blind, must have gotten disoriented and wandered off. Roybal said he has never done that before.

Lizzie Rudge is a Cleveland State student. She had gotten off the bus and crossed the street at Columbia and Wolf Roads in Bay Village when she heard what she thought was a dog barking. "It was really wet, really cold, really raining and I was walking by and I heard barking as I was about to cross the street. So, I looked down and under the sewer grates, I saw a dog. So, I called the police."

Rudge stayed with the dog until police arrived and actually fed him some crackers she had left over from lunch. She couldn’t rescue the dog herself. “He was so scared and I couldn't reach him because he was under the grates," Rudge said.

An animal rescue officer helped police get Pepe out of the storm sewer. They reunited him with the Roybals who had reported him missing. Pepe had wandered two blocks from his home.

"I kind of recognized the barking,” Rudge said. It turns out Pepe is Rudge’s neighbors’ dog who she had played with when she was child.

The Roybals are thankful Rudge found their dog. "We’re so grateful to her because if it wasn't for her being right there at the right moment and time, we don't know what could have happened. We're glad that he's home," Roybal said.

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