A 3-year-old dog was rescued by City of Houston employees after surviving a 20 foot fall and possibly several days at the bottom of a sanitary sewer manhole.

A contractor for the City notified the Department of Public Works & Engineering (PWE) that they found a dog trapped in a sanitary sewer manhole. PWE Managing Engineer Steven Gee immediately assembled a crew and called BARC Animal Shelter’s animal enforcement team to help rescue the wet and hungry dog.

“We knew we needed to act quickly to save this dog’s life,” said 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. They carefully placed a blanket over him to keep him calm and the dog ate several spoons full of dog food while he waited to be lifted out.

“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 pointer-mix Julian, but the recuse crew nicknamed him Sewer Sam. The Public Works team adopted Julian from BARC and plan to make him their new mascot.

“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!”

View a short video featuring Julian’s journey here.

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