Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Watch a small poodle in a tiny orange sweater get freed from a drain in Port Richey (w/video)

PORT RICHEY — It was scary to be Taffy the dog on Wednesday morning.

No, not even the orange sweater the 15-year-old poodle was wrapped in to keep him from the chill at 6 a.m. was enough to protect him from the elements.

"I was out in the yard with him," said his owner Wesson Williams, 78. "I turned my back for one minute and then he disappeared."

Soon he heard the barks coming from under the ground.

Somehow, Williams said, when Taffy went to "do his business" outside the home on Miller Bayou Drive he wandered into a culvert underneath a driveway near his home. He got stuck near the end of the 30-foot tube, where a ball of overgrown roots closed off any escape.

The more Taffy tried to get out, the more he got tangled in the thick roots underground. The elderly pooch is also deaf, police said, and was surely terrified.

"Before you know it is dark and wet and you can no longer move," Port Richey police wrote on a Facebook video of the ordeal. "You can't hear or see your owner. That's what happened to Taffy this morning until his rescuers were summoned, and jumped into action to free him."

Soon, police, fire department, public works and utilities crews were on scene to help.

Williams, who has lived in Port Richey since 1985, was surprised with how quickly so many people arrived to rescue the dog he's had since the poodle was a puppy.

For two hours crews struggled to free the dog. Finally, public works and utility crewmen used a backhoe to dig up the dirt where Taffy was trapped.

"He generally doesn't walk off," said Williams, still shocked by Wednesday afternoon. "He usually stays right with me."

Crews were able loosen the dirt and the roots, and there was Taffy, still tangled and barely able to move. The crewmen pulled and tugged the earth until they could bring grab Taffy, who was soon back in Williams' arms.

Taffy's orange sweater was a little dirty and his fur a little more brown than usual, but Williams didn't seem to mind.

The surrounding crew clapped.

Taffy nuzzled into Williams' gray, fluffy beard. Later that day the happy dog owner said his dog was doing well.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

Watch a small poodle in a tiny orange sweater get freed from a drain in Port Richey (w/video) 03/22/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.