Dog Gets Stuck In Sulcata Tortoise Burrow

November 24, 2017

A German Schnauzer in Chandler, AZ got more than he bargained for after he chased a cat down a tortoise hole in an Arizona backyard. The owner of the dog also keeps a sulcata tortoise (Geochelone [Centrochelys] sulcata), which dug the approximately five foot deep hole, probably to escape the dog.

The sulcata tortoise is all chill, waiting to get back in its hole.

Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department

The sulcata tortoise is all chill, waiting to get back in its hole.

The owner of the animals called the fire department, saying that his dog had gotten stuck in the tortoise tunnel and couldn’t get out, according to Arizona Central

Firefighters came on the scene and worked nearly four hours to pull the dog out. The crew had no idea how far down the dog had gone down the tortoise hole, but with the help of a back hoe, they were able to retrieve the dog.

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The homeowner said his dog had gone down the hole many times and usually comes out with no issues, but this time, the dog got stuck.

"The dog is fine, came out with some dirt on his nose," Blas Minor, spokesman for the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department told Arizona Central. "He's been given a bath and is in the backyard and just enjoying life."

The hole will not be covered yet because a cat is apparently still in it.

The tortoise, which has a shell that is two feet in diameter and weighs more than 100 pounds, has been in the homeowner’s care for more than 10 years. 

"He's quite the hole digger, I could say,” Minor said. 

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