A young pit bull who was rescued from a mine shaft in Riverside County was recovering Wednesday, and her rescuer was looking to find her a new home.
The dog, now named “Corona” for the area where she was found, was discovered early Saturday morning by a group of friends who had gone on their regular off-roading Friday night near Lake Mathews.
After turning down a dirt road, the group came upon a mine shaft that was some 200 feet deep, according to one of the off-roaders, Michael Schoepf.
Inside the shaft, the eyes of an animal were reflected by a flashlight beam.
“As I’m looking down to see how deep it is I see something looking back at me. I take a closer look and it just so happen to be this beautiful red nose puppy,” Schoepf wrote on a Facebook page devoted to lost and found pets in the Riverside area. “Needless to say we couldn’t just leave her to a certain death so we went back to the bonfire for anybody that had a long enough tow strap or rope to reach to the bottom.”
The group got ropes and other equipment, and a friend lowered Schoepf down into the shaft toward the dog — a moment caught on cellphone video.
“The things we’ll do for a stranded dog,” said one member of the group during the rescue.
On top of Schoepf’s shoulders, Corona was raised to the surface, where she greeted her rescuers with sloppy kisses.
She was very thirsty, Schoepf said. He thinks she was in the shaft for two to three days.
“So glad we stopped to check it out,” Schoepf wrote. “Now this beautiful pup gets a second chance at life.”
Schoepf took the pooch home to his house in Cypress, where she slept with him. The next morning. Corona was taken to Happy Tails Animal Hospital in Garden Grove.
The veterinarian treated the dog and waived fees.
Corona came away some scratches and bruises, but nothing too serious, Dr. Keri Berka said. She’s being treated for acute glaucoma in one eye too, and that may resolve, the vet said.
“Very lucky dog,” Berka said. “We’re just blessed that she came into our office and we could treat her and meet her.”
Corona does have a microchip, but it was never registered, so there’s no way to know who the original owner was, Berka said.
Schoepf is trying find a new home for her. He hopes to find her original owner, but multiple people have said they want to adopt her.
“I really want her to go to loving home. She’s very deserving,” Schoepf said.