Gerry Keene was exploring with fellow cavers, several of whom were children, when the group came across a dog who appeared to have lost all hope, the Standard Democrat reported Friday.
“She’s in the pitch black, and the poor baby wouldn’t even move for us at first,” Keene recalled of the scene. “But once she had been in the light for a bit, she started to get energized.”
Keene volunteered to get more help and once he got back to the surface, he began going to nearby homes trying to locate the owner.
When he got back to the cave’s entrance, he saw Rick Haley of the Cave Research Foundation, who joined the rescue effort.
Meanwhile, a man named Jeff Bohner also showed up at the scene, having heard someone may have found his lost pet. The moment Keene showed him a photo of the dog, Bohner knew it was 13-year-old Abby.
The canine had disappeared nearly two months earlier.
Keene and Haley reentered the cave. Haley noted entering was difficult because explorers were forced to crawl due to tight spaces.
In a social media post on August 6, Haley shared pictures of the rescue showing the dog zipped safely into a duffel bag ready to be carried out of the cave:
“We moved her 500 feet to a very tight, awkward, vertical climb, handing her hand to hand upward to the surface. She was totally cooperative,” he wrote.
According to Haley, the cave flooded sometimes and heavy rain had recently swept through the area. His hunch was that Abby got caught in the water.