Missing Garrard County dog freed from cave, reunited with owners

GARRARD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - After being trapped in a cave for days, a dog has been freed and reunited with his owners.

Rat, a hound dog, hadn't been seen since Tuesday morning, after his owners say he ran into a cave near Paint Lick, but didn't come back out.

Rescue crews and volunteers worked for days to find Rat and free him. He was reunited with his owners around 9 p.m. Friday.

An expert cave crawler, armed with scraps of bologna, helped coax Rat out of the cave.

Rat's owners say he will not be hunting again anytime soon.

We're told Rat is doing ok, despite spending several days inside the cave.

The search continued for a dog missing in Garrard County cave on Friday. It's been almost four days since the dog, named Rat, went underground while chasing a raccoon. On Friday afternoon, rescuers received a hopeful sign. They could hear him barking. They spent the day digging a hole big enough for a person to see inside.

"We are about fifteen feet away from him," says Brittany Collins with Animal Control.

There was pretty big breakthrough when a backhoe was brought in to dig up a sinkhole. That gave them confirmation they were in the right spot when they heard Rat barking.

Rat's owner, Delbert Hawkins, has been out here with these crews the entire time.

"He knows he still alive and that's all we can pray for," says Earlene Harris with the Garrard County Animal Shelter.

While they haven't found Rat, during this search they did find another hound in this area. They say it had been injured, possibly by a raccoon. It's now at the Garrard County Animal Shelter.

Searchers say now that they know were Rat is, they don't plan to stop digging until they've found him.

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