Dog survives 14-story fall down apartment building shaft - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Dog survives 14-story fall down apartment building shaft

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Firefighters pull Suzie out of the pipe chase where she was stuck. Firefighters pull Suzie out of the pipe chase where she was stuck.
Elaine Caralis and Suzie, her 4-year-old Maltese-poodle mix. Elaine Caralis and Suzie, her 4-year-old Maltese-poodle mix.
The Fort Lauderdale condominium where Suzie fell. The Fort Lauderdale condominium where Suzie fell.

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida dog is on the road to recovery one day after she plummeted 14 stories down a vent shaft at an apartment building and survived.

Elaine Caralis said she was visiting a friend at her 16th-floor condominium, located at 3400 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale, Friday evening. Caralis had brought Susie, her 4-year-old Maltese-poodle mix, with her to the condo, which was undergoing construction.

According to Caralis, Susie crawled into a closet and fell through a pipe more than 100 feet. Officials said the canine ended up in the pipe chase on the building's second floor. "I thought she died, but I was calling her from the wall, and she was barking, so I knew she was alive," said Caralis.

Susie was stuck there for three hours as crews worked to rescue her. Firefighters were forced to cut a hole so they could pull her out.

Susie was taken to Oakland Park Animal Hospital, where she is currently being treated. "She just has a little cut in her belly, and they're going to fix her," said Caralis.

Dr. Ratnoff, the veterinarian who treated Susie, said it is astonishing the Malti-poo was able to survive the long fall without suffering serious injuries. "The amazing thing is that her injuries are very minimal," he said. "Some bruising of her liver, some lacerations but no broken bones."

"It was a miracle because she's living now. She's OK," said Caralis. "She didn't break anything. I mean, she just has some cuts and bruises."

Friday night, Caralis expressed her gratitude to the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crew who retrieved her dog, which she has owned since she was a puppy. "These guys, they worked so hard for my dog," she said. "She's my life, so after three hours they opened up a big hole and took Susie out. They opened [the hole] and took Susie out alive."

Susie is expected to be OK. "I have hopes for her making [a] complete recovery," said Ratnoff. "She is a miracle dog."

Caralis will be able to take Susie home in the next three to four days. "She's my baby," she said.

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