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Rescued retired K-9: Chula Vista firefighters talk about the rescue

German shepherd Indy’s rescuers spoke to CBS 8 about how they lifted the 9-year-old pup out of a 50-foot hole.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Indy’s rescuers spoke to CBS 8 about how they lifted the 9-year-old German Shepherd out of a 50-foot hole.

“It was a great feeling when we were able to haul him up,” said Lee Petry, firefighter, and paramedic for Chula Vista Fire. “We were all nervous that maybe he’d fall off and fall back down again or get hurt again, and so once we saw him come out of the hole and everybody had hands on him, that’s when a sigh of relief kind of kicked in.”

Petry told CBS 8 that the fire team went through a lot of trial and error and brainstorming on how to lift Indy out during the three-hour rescue. They didn’t want to lower anyone down into the hole for fear that it could collapse, so they used a special rope called ‘horse rope,’ which is stiffer than ordinary rope.

 Ultimately, it allowed them to lasso and secure Indy enough to hoist him out.

“It was just a lot of luck and trying to get the dog to lift its head at the right time when we had the rope in the right place,” said Petry. “Once it worked, we already had a whole hauling team ready to go.”

As for Indy, a former police canine dog, owner Mark Pugh told CBS 8 the veterinarian found some swelling around his hips. Still, he has no broken bones, so he’ll be at the vet hospital recovering for another four or five days.

In Bonita, property owner Vincent Carrillo was hard at work Friday building a cover for the hole out of wood and cement. The deep hole had been covered by overgrown vines, which is why it wasn’t visible before. Carrillo thinks it may have been a well at one point, but he isn’t sure.

“It’s just crazy, I mean, if you go looking down there, it goes so far down, and it looks like it goes to the right too,” said Carrillo.

“We’re just happy that the dog is better, and it sounds like his injuries weren’t as significant as we thought,” said Petry. “It seems like he’s going to make a full recovery.”

WATCH RELATED: Firefighters rescue dog trapped for hours in a 60-foot hole in Chula Vista

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