A dog was rescued in Union County Sunday after falling 150 feet into a cave.
The dog was discovered by two hunters in the Fullerton Bend Wilderness Area, just outside Speedwell. They heard the dog barking, but were unable to see it.
The Union County Sheriff's Office called the county Humane Society to see if they could rescue the dog.
Workers with the Humane Society got to the cave Saturday evening.
"We did in fact find a cave, a very deep cave, with the dog. It sounded like some kind of hound barking, and it sounded like he was way down there," said Humane Society Executive Director Tammy Rouse.
Rescuers say the dog's bark saved his life. He was so far down in the cave they had to wait until Sunday to try to reach him.
"We were pretty confident," Rouse said. "We had someone there with some rappelling experience who actually went down to the rim of the cave and looked down inside."
Shelter manager Tim Roberts and his friend, Travis Webster, volunteered to go in the cave.
Within six hours the hound mix was hoisted out of the cave. "I, for one, thought he was in pretty good shape for a drop like that," Roberts said. "He was up and moving around."
They've named the dog Rocky and believe he'd been trapped in the cave for at least two weeks. Access to water in the cave helped him stay alive.
Rocky's only major injury was a fractured hind leg and he's still able to move around.
This is the first time the workers have had to repel into a cave to rescue an animal. "I think he deserved a chance," Roberts said. "If it was turned around, I would want someone to come get me out."
The dog was wearing a collar, but there was no identification. If the owners don't come forward, he will be adopted out.
Rocky will need extensive surgery to repair his leg. If you'd like to make a donation, call the Union County Humane Society at 865-992-7969.