Labrador puppy rescued by firefighters after his paw got stuck between two boulders

Lab rescued after getting trapped between boulders

CHERRY CREEK, Colo. - Firefighters rescued a young yellow Labrador Retriever that was trapped between boulders in a small pond at Cherry Creek Dog Park.

Dan Santiago and his lab, Buddy, live in Cherry Creek. Santiago took Buddy to the dog park Saturday morning where Buddy got his paw caught between two boulders in the water. 

"He was swimming and he was swimming just fine. But when he came back to climb on top of the rocks, his left paw slipped off of the rock," Santiago said, "As soon as he made a quick yelp, I jumped right in the water cause I've never heard that yelp before."

Santiago and several bystanders tried to free Buddy, but were unable to move him without hurting him.

They tried to use fence posts and even a tire iron to move the large boulders, but the rocks wouldn't budge.

Eventually, they asked park rangers for help. 

"Once [Buddy] was finally calm and the park rangers got there, we just tried everything we could with the park rangers to get him loose," Santiago said. "Finally someone was like let's call 9-1-1. That's when we called the fire department."

Cunningham Fire Protection District firefighters arrived on scene and tried using poles to budge the rocks, but that method didn't work.

They had to use the jaws of life to move them and free Buddy. 

"As soon as they got the jaws of life, it was two cranks and he was free. It was pretty emotional," Santiago said.

Buddy was trapped for half an hour before his rescue. 

He was taken to an animal hospital where veterinarians determined he didn't have any broken bones. 

He did have a cut on his leg due from a sharp part of the boulder.

He'll be in a cast for the next couple of weeks.

Firefighters from CFPD visited Buddy Tuesday afternoon to see how the puppy was doing.

Tuesday is also Buddy's first birthday, so the visit was a birthday present of sorts.

Buddy seems in high spirits and Santiago anticipates he will recover quickly.

"Particularly after the independence day holiday where we run quite a few emergencies," said CFPD battalion chief Dave Mueller, "It's not always everybody's best days. So, to run a call that has a pleasant outcome is always nice."

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