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Frightened dog rescued after three years stuck in cavity between apartment block and shop

By The Siberian Times reporter
10 October 2016

Thrown in as a puppy, the mongrel grew too large to escape through a tiny hole through which local residents gave her food and water.

Cruelly thrown in as a puppy, she was nicknamed the prisoner of Chateau d'If, after the fortress jail in the Bay of Marseille. Picture: @chernov.a.e

The dog - now named Volya - or 'Freedom' - would bark and wail, especially in the fierce cold of winter in Khabarovsk. The cramped dark enclosure adjacent to a cellar was wedged between a nine-floor apartment block and a shop.

Cruelly thrown in as a puppy, she was nicknamed the prisoner of Chateau d'If, after the fortress jail in the Bay of Marseille. Residents had made attempts over the years to lure the dog out of the hole, and pull her free, but she was too frightened, and retreated out of reach. They fed her daily. 

The Emergencies' Ministry were called but they declined to help rescue her. The housing company and shop refused to help, but eventually a public campaign helped to secure the animal's release. 

Rescue


Rescue


Rescue

A welder Andrey Chernov offered to widen the feeding hole, but the dog refused to come out. Another activist, slim Darya Stepantsova, 27, climbed through the narrow hole. Pictures: Andrey Chernov, @darya_stepantsova

A new apartment block resident was so shocked at the dog's three year entrapment that he raised the issue in the media, and help came from animal rights activists. 

People advocated just smashing the wall but there were fears the dog could be killed or hurt. 

One activist Karina Dombrovskaya said: 'We studied the structure of the basement, and looked for options. The dog was not just sitting in the narrow slit, she had a narrow pass under the basement of the shop. Naturally, over the years, she had dug some passages and could move there.'

Rescue


Rescue


Rescue


Rescue

I crawled closer to the dog, threw a loop over her head, and tied her muzzle with a bandage. Pictures: @chernov.a.e

A welder Andrey Chernov offered to widen the feeding hole, but the dog refused to come out. Another activist, slim Darya Stepantsova, 27, climbed through the narrow hole.

'I thought I could just get inside, throw a loop round the dog's neck and pull her out. But when got there, I was shocked - for years the dog had dug tunnels there... At first I thought it was unreal to catch her. 

'She was hiding there and I could not get in. So I had to literally dig trenches to try and get her out. I crawled closer to the dog, threw a loop over her head, and tied her muzzle with a bandage. At some point I got into a dead end and thought that I'd never get out. I pulled myself together and pull out the dog.'

Volya checked by vet


Volya the dog

The dog was checked by vets and found to be basically healthy. Pictures: Andrey Chernov, @darya_stepantsova

Darya said: 'I was scared, it was difficult. There was no space for a person under the basement and I had to dig trenches with my bare hands. I was breathing only cement dust and sand. A couple of times I was in despair, but I overcame these feelings. I managed to pass the dog out through the hole with my last effort.'

The dog was checked by vets and found to be basically healthy. 

She is now in a temporary shelter. She is scared of people, open spaces and light. The animal tries to hide, and find an enclosed space or dig into the sawdust. But there are hopes she can now find a proper home. 

Comments (4)

What a great end to a sad story. People can be so cruel. There were some wonderful people to continue to feed the dog, but it should not have taken that long.. She actually looks pretty clean for having been in the hole for so long. Bless her heart.
Vicki, Auburn, USA
25/10/2016 06:16
1
0
good men and slim woman did best job
Robert, Germany
12/10/2016 01:04
14
0
Elly, did you read the article? It says, "Residents had made attempts over the years to lure the dog out of the hole, and pull her free, but she was too frightened, and retreated out of reach. They fed her daily." People tried to help many times. The hole was too small, and the dog was afraid.
Oleg, Novosibirsk, Russia
11/10/2016 21:20
9
2
It's too sad that this had to take 3 years to help the dog.
No one thought of the dog to decide to help it, awfull.
Shame on the people who knew about this and did nothing!!!
elly, Netherlands
11/10/2016 16:28
4
5
1

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