Aug 15, 2014

Crews from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and Animal Control officers rescued a dog Friday that was trapped in a raw sewage basin at a Richmond water treatment plant.

The incident was reported at about 10:30 a.m. at the West County Wastewater District treatment plant on Garden Tract Road, just off the Richmond Parkway, Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.

Crews from Engines 69 and 70 and Animal Control officers managed to successfully pull the pooch, described as a female pitbull mix, out from the vault, which was “halfway filled with raw sewage.” It was not known how the dog ended up there or how long she had been there, Marshall said.

“She was pretty freaked out,” Marshall said.

Animal Control took her to be treated for dehydration at its Martinez facility. Otherwise her condition was “pretty good,” the fire marshal said.

The fire department posted photos of the rescue effort on Facebook:

Crews prepare to open the holding basin:


Crews attempting to get a rope around the dog:


Animal control officer also attempting to get a hold of the dog:


Animal control officer also attempting to get a hold of the dog. It was the last picture posted before the dog’s rescue:



  1. You need to get your story straight, the dog was not swimming in the sewage, and was not “soaked”

    Mark | Aug 18th, 2014
  2. Mark, I apologize if that is incorrect. I was told the dog was trapped in a vault that was halfway filled in raw sewage. Perhaps I misunderstood what that meant. I’ve taken out the references to “swimming” and “soaked.” Thanks for the heads up. – Mike Aldax

    Mike Aldax | Aug 18th, 2014
  3. Thank you, I was actually the one that found the dog at my work. She was standing on a small ledge when I found her. They did bathe her when they got her out, “just in case”

    Mark | Aug 18th, 2014
  4. It was a great combined effort by everyone involved, to include the workers at West County Wastewater.

    Mark | Aug 18th, 2014

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.