First responders reunite 12-year-old dog with family after pooch goes missing overnight

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Rescuing animals is just part of the job when it comes to protecting and serving a community. One dog owner had some helping hands Monday from the Black Jack Fire Protection District and the St. Louis County Police Department.

It all began Sunday night, when Rusty Payne, a 12-year-old chihuahua, chose to wander off after being let outside.

“He’s been a naughty little boy,” said Terry Payne, Rusty’s person. “Had me looking for him all night my husband and I got up this morning we’re looking for him and, for some reason, he got stuck in the gutter.”

Terry said he heard some scratching and realized it was coming from underground, and that’s when he noticed his dog.

Somehow, Rusty fell down in a drain pipe. What to do but call Black Jack’s Engine House 2.

“Climbed down in the sewer but the dog decided I wanted to run under the street in the sewer pipe,” said Black Jack Fire Captain Mike Beckmann. So, it took some coaxing. Other guys put a firehouse in the other side to punch it back to the one side so we could grab it.”

Terry said she and her husband are grateful for the first responders’ efforts in Rusty’s rescue.

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