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Lucky Penny

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Beloved pet rescued after six harrowing hours

By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

It was a feat that ends up on morning TV talk shows.
Monday, an 8-year-old Jack Russell out on her afternoon bathroom break disappeared.
“I’d seen a turtle the day before,” said the dog’s owner, Patty Hatch, “and thought she was following it.”
Indeed she had.
Penny, the curious Jack Russell, had wandered the way of the turtle and somehow became trapped in the turtle/gopher hole.
Hatch said when she couldn’t get Penny to respond, she made an emergency call and within minutes, Williston Fire Rescue Station 78 was on the scene, followed by Station 72.
After assessing the situation, workers began to dig in order to enlarge the diameter of the hole.
Marion County Tech, Station 20, was called to the scene since their workers are trained in trench rescue.
Penny could be heard  but was still many feet underground.
 Firefighters from all three departments continued to dig deeper to try and find the tunnel Penny was trapped in.  Firefighters stop digging at 8:30 p.m. and turned off all truck motors and all family and bystanders became quiet so rescue personal could listen for Penny.
 A very faint whimper could be heard and rescue personnel dug another foot and found the tunnel.  
Rescuers started to dig using their hands so the tunnel would not collapse.
At 8:43 pm one of the Marion County Rescuers was able to reach deep into the hole and find Penny. He grabbed her head and pulled and Penny was freed.
Although she was weak, by Tuesday, Penny was back to her old self.
“She’s fine,” Hatch said. “She slept with me all night.”
Hatch said the six-hours waiting was an ordeal. She said the rescue workers were everywhere and worked diligently, as did her neighbor, Johnny Rodriguez, who was the first one on the scene.
Hatch said Penny, who weighs about eight pounds, is not very curious and not a “digger” but this time her curisity  got the better of her.
Hatch, who has two other Jack Russells, said she is overly cautious now about letting them go outside for potty breaks without being on a leash.
“You can’t imagine how scared I was,” she said.