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On August 6, a team of spelunkers in Missouri located a missing dog during a routine caving project. According to Fox 2, the crew found the dog, Abby, while exploring the Tom Moore Cave system in Perry County.
Team member Rick Haley recalled the unexpected rescue on Facebook, saying that he and another spelunker worked together to return the animal to the surface safely. According to Haley, the dog “was not in good shape.” Abby shuffled inside a duffel bag that he had placed out on the ground.
“I laid that bag out, unzipped it, put the blanket in and the dog at that point walked right over and sat in the bag, because the dog recognized ‘this is the driest, warmest and softest thing I’ve seen in a long time and I’m just going to lay on it’,” Haley told CNN.
As part of a project for the Cave Research Foundation, Haley and a group of around 30 spelunkers were mapping a cave north of Perryville, Missouri. According to him, the cave is a part of the Berome Moore cave system, which is the second-largest cave system in Missouri and measures around 22 miles.
Haley, 66, a member of the expedition’s logistics and problem-solving team, exited the cave to find another caver and an assistant fire chief from the nearby fire department.
“She didn’t seem to have any injuries. But boy, she was really malnourished. She was skin and bones.”
While the operation was happening, another caver was knocking on doors with a photograph of the dog. Abby was reunited with the Bonner family, who believed their pet was probably gone forever when she disappeared in early June. It’s still unclear, according to Haley, how the dog got so deep within the cave. He said that she could have been pursuing a mouse or raccoon. And he believed that she was brought deeper into the cave due to the heavy rains that flooded inside.