Pup sucked to safety from drain

RHIANNON HORRELL
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2010
Steve Ciprian, Lyall Kennedy and Rabuka
JASON OXENHAM/Suburban Newpapers

SUCTION MODE: Firefighters Steve Ciprian and Lyall Kennedy used a vacuum cleaner to pull three-day-old Rabuka up from a drainpipe.

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A vacuum cleaner and a team of quick-thinking firefighters have saved a tiny bichon-frise puppy stranded down a drainpipe.

Rabuka was only three days old when he was accidentally dropped down the pipe by his mother.

Aucklander Margaret Pritchard discovered the trapped pup and tried to pull him to safety.

But the pipe was no more than 10 centimetres in diameter and partly blocked by a steel bar.

Mrs Pritchard says her three sons lost their stepdad to cancer in January and so she was determined to save the puppy. Three of the five puppies in the litter had also died. "I'm sick of bad news."

Mt Roskill fire brigade was called and station officer Lyall Kennedy was able to lift Rabuka out using a vacuum cleaner on suction mode.

The vacuum cleaner was plan C after the first two attempts failed. "Plan A was using an old window-wiper with a noose on the end to snare it. Plan B involved two sticks and some duct tape. So it was a careful approach with a vacuum cleaner."

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