Charlottetown police officer rescues dog from manhole

Mitch MacDonald
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FILE PHOTO: Markham Long, Charlottetown Police Services.

Const. Markham Long goes down ladder to pluck out large, squirming dog, gets tail wagging as thanks

Charlottetown police officers may now have the title of “dog’s best friend” after performing an unusual recue mission over the weekend.

Police officers found themselves rescuing a dog that had fallen into a 10 to 12 feet uncovered manhole on Paramount Drive Sunday afternoon about 1 p.m.

Sgt. Walter Vessey says the dog’s owner was out walking his canine friend when the incident occurred.

“The dog had fallen down an open manhole... the snowplow had gone by a short period of time before that and dislodged the cover. The dog’s owner wasn’t able to get the dog out,” said Vessey.

After arriving on the scene, Const. Markham Long said he peered into the hole with a flashlight and saw an uninjured but trapped dog - and no way of getting him out.

A ladder was brought in, and Long stripped off much of his gear and went down the hole. It was a large dog, perhaps 80 pounds, and Long said the animal seemed unsure about how he felt about this stranger trying to pick him up.

Long said he got a good hold on the dog, kept him tight despite some squirming, and managed to get him up the ladder to his owners.

“When it came out, it was wagging its tail, running around, and stuff like that,” said Long.

Long's heroism didn't end there, though. There was also something he didn't do: ticket the owner.

“It wasn't on a lead. We do have a dog bylaw so he is supposed to have a lead,” said Long. “But in this case, common sense will prevail.”

Long said the manhole was in a grassy area near a roadway in an industrial area under development, and the cover was likely pushed off by a passing snowplow.

Vessey said it’s extremely uncommon to hear of manhole covers coming loose.

“Those manhole covers fit tight into the holes and they’re heavy and recessed. It’s extremely uncommon.”

(With files by The Canadian Press)





Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Libby
    February 03, 2016 - 19:23

    So happy the dog got out

  • Lonelygirl
    February 03, 2016 - 02:56

    Bravo to this Constable...what a heartwarming story....we need more of these! So happy for this doggie to be returned to his owner. Just precious!

  • Stephen Huws
    February 03, 2016 - 00:27

    Glad it had a happy outcome, but no mention is made of what the manhole was for, and someone should point out that sanitary (unsanitary?) sewer gases can be toxic and breathing apparatus should be worn. I suppose in this instance the dog was a "canary in a coalmine" and it's survival was an indication that the coast was clear. But too often someone is overcome by the sewer gases and then someone else goes in to try and help and they succumb too.

  • Stan Hope
    February 02, 2016 - 21:15

    Well done Const. Long. Enough of the awful animal abuse stories , nice to read a feel good story once in a while .

  • David W. Turner
    February 02, 2016 - 20:46

    Great heart warming story Congratulations Officer. you are a hero

  • Me, myself and I
    February 02, 2016 - 20:24

    While out on a walk in East Royalty a few weeks ago I come across 2 manhole covers which were knocked off by a snowplow and 2 the year before so the statement saying that it is extremely uncommon is wrong. Looking in it was about a 8 to 10 foot drop. How the dog didn't get hurt is beyond me, poor fella, thankfully he is ok. A person or an animal walking at night could have been seriously injured. I called the City immediately to ensure they come out to put the manhole covers back on.