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Dog Was Moments From Being Buried Alive in Test Pit

A Riverside County Animal Services officer responded to a call about a dog stuck in a ditch at a building site on Thursday morning.

And this might be one of the luckiest dogs of 2020. That’s because the dog was discovered just moments before the hole was going to be filled, said Tony Pascanik, an offsite construction manager at the Canal Street property in Jurupa Valley. One of Pascanik’s colleagues discovered the dog during a brief break from doing bulldozer work.

“That dog doesn’t know how lucky he is,” Pascanik said. “A D10 dozer was about to backfill that hole. The dozer operator got off the vehicle, heard a dog barking, walked over, then saw the dog in the hole.”

Had the bulldozer operator not stopped for that short break, the dog would have been buried alive. The hole was a “test pit,” roughly 15 feet in depth. Construction crews create such pits to investigate the different types of soils. The Canal Street property near Patricia Drive is being developed by Lennar and JMI Construction Engineering Inc. is handling the building duties.

Mr. Pascanik contacted Riverside County Animal Services and Officer Christopher Peck arrived at about 11 a.m. The dog, a 2-year-old Doberman, somehow stumbled into the pit and was frantically trying to escape, but the walls were too steep. “The dog was very scared and confused,” Officer Peck said.

He went to his truck to get a rope that he keeps handy for incidents such as these. He used the rope to lasso the pooch. “It took me eight tries, but I was able to help guide and assist the dog up one of the steep slopes.”

Moments later, a woman drove up near the construction site and claimed the dog, Gator, was hers. The woman, Harlees Corcoles, told the officer that Gator had gotten out the night before and she had been driving all over looking for him.

Officer Peck scanned the dog for a microchip and discovered it had one – but the dog was microchipped to a different person. That person informed the officer that Ms. Corcoles was caring for the dog as he and his family were on vacation. Officer Peck handed off the dog to a grateful Ms. Corcoles.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
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Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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