ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL (KTVI) – A St. Clair woman is breathing a big sigh of relief after her two dogs were rescued from a 60-foot sinkhole. FOX 2 was the only station there as the whole thing unfolded.
The sinkhole had been around for years, but wasn’t discovered until two Dobermans got well off the beaten path in an Illinois nature preserve. Their owner, Lisa Marks, takes them for walks along Stemler Trail fairly often. “There’s no one out here usually, and I let them go off the leash. It’s the only place I can let them run,” she says.
But this time, the Dobermans, a father and son named Legend and Bullet, wandered a little too far, and tumbled into the sinkhole. Marks says, “I was absolutely horrified. I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was call the fire department.”
All of this happened around one o’clock Wednesday afternoon. It wasn’t long before emergency crews got started with their rope and harness rescue.
Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Jim Broshears says, “From the time the St. Clair Special Services got on the scene to the time they got out the dogs was 39 minutes, which is remarkable. They did a great job.”
Incredibly, falling down a six-story drop didn’t hurt these tough dogs. “They came out and looked like they wanted to fight a little bit. They look like they’re in real good health,” Broshears explains.
Marks adds, “Thank God. I was so scared they were gonna come out of there hurt. They came out just fine.”
The Doberman owner says she’s learned her lesson, but that doesn’t mean she’ll stop wandering down her favorite nature trail with her two brave buddies.
“I used to ride horses here when I was a kid, I know this land like the back of my hand,” she says, “But I didn’t know that hole was there. I know it now. And I won’t be bringing them out here without leashes ever again, never.”
As for the sinkhole, the assistant fire chief says there’s no way to fix it, but they’ll try to put up some caution signs.