Yesterday, a 3-year-old male Boerboel, Ceasar, fell into a three-meter deep open manhole. Ceasar’s owner as well as Fire and Rescue was present at the scene when Cadet Inspector Rudie Philander arrived. On his initial assessment, it was evident that Ceasar was in shock and had started receding deeper into the manhole. At this stage, the stressed and panicked owner and his dog were both already submerged in water.
“The owner climbed out and I went down to calm the dog down and also repositioned the ropes around his chest, just below his front legs,” said Rudie. Once Ceasar was secured, Rudie climbed out and assisted the effort to hoist the massive dog out of the manhole and back to safety.
The Boerboel is a large dog, measuring between 64 and 70cm and weighing in at between 70 to 90 kgs. The breed is highly territorial and will defend their family, to the death, if they feel threatened in any way. Strong discipline must be introduced early for Boerboel puppies. Training from an early age is important for this breed; they are large dogs and first-time owners may find the Boerboel a bit of a challenge. They require a fair amount of attention and are affectionate towards children. Life expectancy for a healthy Boerboel is up to 13 years of age.
Luckily Ceasar did not have any injuries but was taken to the vet for a checkup after the ordeal. The incident took place in a northern suburbs park in Vredenberg, Bellville where Ceasar frequently enjoys his walks. The owners removed his leash as they always do when there is no one else there. Ceasar ran around and didn’t see the open manhole.
What to do when your animal companion is in a tight spot
Cadet Inspector Rudie Philander shared some insights: “keep the animal as calm as possible, support their body were needed, rub the ears and speak in a calm voice tone for reassurance. The most important thing to remember, you need to stay calm. If the animal sees you are panicking they will in turn start panicking. Be aware of signs of shock setting in, shivering, crying or signs of aggression.
We are not quite sure why Rudie keeps getting himself wet in the stormwater sewers of Cape Town, perhaps you have some thoughts? Undercover Ninja Turtle perhaps, but which one?