Police Rescue Dog From Tunnel
River Vale Police found Lilly, an American Bulldog, 15 feet underground.
Police rescued a dog that had burrowed 15 feet underground behind a River Vale home Friday, according to Detective Sergeant John J. DeVoe.
Police received a call at about 1:25 p.m. Friday from a homeowner who reported his 8-year-old American Bulldog, Lilly, had "disappeared" into a tunnel under a deck behind his house. The dog had apparently been digging a network of tunnels under the deck for months, police said.
Police, DPW employees and some residents then disassembled part of the deck to gain access to the tunnels. They then and cut through tree roots and dug their way to reach Lilly, who was 15 feet underground in one of the tunnels.
River Vale Police Officer Anthony Scimeca spotted Lilly and crawled into the tunnel to reach her. After coming face-to-face with a large groundhog — which he removed — Scimeca reached Lilly and pulled her from the ground.
After police got Lilly out of the hole, her owner gave her a bath with a garden hose.
“This job calls for more than just writing tickets and making arrests,” DeVoe said in a press release. “Community service efforts — like this one — are what drew many of our officers to this profession in the first place.”
In addition to police and the DPW, Bergen County Animal Control, River Vale Construction Official Michael Sartori and the Park Ridge Water/Sewer Department responded to the incident.