Dog spooked by fireworks freed after being stuck under Riverside home for 2 days


by Tracy Bloom

A dog who bolted from her Riverside home after apparently being spooked by fireworks celebrating the Lakers’ championship was rescued after being trapped beneath the house for two days, officials said Wednesday.

The frightened senior Labrador fled Sunday night after fireworks exploded in the neighborhood a short time after the team’s title-clinching victory over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA finals, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Her family feared the dog, named Midnight, was long gone when they discovered she was missing.

But on Tuesday, the family heard her whimpering from underneath their home in the 3400 block of Franklin Avenue, where — unbeknownst to them — she had been stuck for two days, according to a news release from the department.

Midnight became jammed under a wood beam beneath the kitchen after leaping through a screen and nestling herself as far away from the opening as possible during the fireworks display.

“It was as if she had burrowed a spot for herself, but she had actually entrapped herself,” Animal Services Officer Michael Cox, who was called out to retrieve the pooch, said in the release. “That’s the magnitude of just how scared she was from the fireworks.” 

Cox was initially uncertain if he’d be able to fit through the small opening, but managed to get into the crawl space. Still, the dog was initially resistant to his help, using her front paws to hold on to a beam as Cox tried to free her.

At one point, a family member joined the officer in the crawl space to make Midnight feel comfortable. That individual managed to push the dog and help the officer pull her — “inch by inch” — to safety, the release stated.

“It took us a few minutes, and there was a lot of dirt kicked around,” Cox said. “Even with flashlights, the visibility was very low. But the good news is we were finally able to nudge her from her spot and she crawled out of the hole into the arms of her very relieved and happy family.”

The dog was not injured.

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