NORTH RICHMOND -- A dog trapped in a sewage vault at a West County waste treatment plant Friday survived the ordeal, thanks to firefighters who hoisted her out with a harness and ropes.

Firefighters don't know how the dog -- a female pit bull mix -- made her way into the vault, which typically is covered, or how long she had been inside, said Contra Costa Fire spokesman Robert Marshall. But they say she likely would have drowned if she hadn't been found before sewage water filled the vault.

"If the dog hadn't been found, it would have been a different outcome," Marshall said.

A treatment plant employee called the fire department about 10:30 a.m. Friday. Using a wire harness, he said, they were able to grab the dog by her neck and lift her out.

She appeared to be in "not too terribly bad shape," but was taken to an animal shelter in Martinez to be rehydrated, Marshall said.

The department posted photos of the rescue, including one of the frightened dog on a red tarp, surrounded by an emergency crew, to Facebook. An owner hadn't been identified as of late Friday.

Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.



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