INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Two Independence Animal Control officers pull off a risky rescue and carefully coax a lost canine from a cave.
It's a wonder how a shepherd mix, named Lucious, wandered away from home and ended up about 35 feet high, trapped in a cave along an cliff in Independence.
"He didn't want to come out at all. He was scared. He was wining, yelping,” said Animal Control Officer Jim Holtcamp, who helped rescued the dog.
Last Friday, Lucious trekked around 20 miles from Kansas City and somehow climbed atop the cave, which is located behind an apartment complex, and got caught in the dark, cold, cave under a parking lot.
"He wasn't coming out. He wasn't going anywhere, that's where he stayed,” said Holtcamp.
The 50 pound pooch perched in the cave for at least three lonely days.
"It’s pretty amazing. I was surprised he was even able to get up in there to be honest," said Holtcamp.
So Holtcamp and his partner, animal control officer Zach Gard, boldly went where they'd never been before; atop a cliff, standing on a thin piece wood between two trees.
It was a risky recue for lost Lucious so the two said they were a little nervous.
"A little bit. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of confined spaces," said Holtcamp.
"Anytime a car drove by or anything like that it was kind of a nerve-wracking situation,” said Gard.
They tried coaxing the cave-tucked canine out with hamburgers.
Holtcamp laid on his back begging the hungry hound to come to him, but Lucious wouldn't budge.
"We just took the pole and slid it on here like this,” he said.
After giving the dehydrated dog a sedative-laced donut Holtcamp grabbed his trusty "snappy snare” and catch pole.
“We were able to kind of pry to get him, kind of forced him to come out,” said Holtcamp.
And after more than an hour, the hound's "heroes" carefully hoisted Lucious down with a rope.
"This is the first cave dog we've ever pulled out,” said Gard.
The doggie's dynamic duo may never be able to solve the shepherd mix's big mystery. All that matters is that Lucious is back with his master.