— -- A dog has been rescued after spending more than nine days trapped under rubble left by the earthquake that struck central Italy, killing nearly 300 people and injuring thousands more,
The golden retriever named Romeo was found today while his owners were trying to retrieve essential belongings from their damaged home in the town of Villa San Lorenza a Flavione just outside Amatrice, according to local newspaper Latina Quotidiano (the Latin Daily).
The owners had not lost hope that the pup was alive and called out "Romeo! Romeo!" while on site, Latina Quotidiano reported.
Amazingly, they were were met with barking, according to the paper.
Firefighters who had been escorting the owners then immediately began to dig and were able to rescue the dog, the local paper said.
At first, Romeo appeared to be bewildered as he scampered down a mound of broken concrete and other debris, The Associated Press reported. But after he quickly took a few steps and sniffed his surroundings, he started wagging his tail.
Latina Quotidiano called the dog's rescue a sign of hope for those who lost everything in the Aug. 24 earthquake.
ABC News' Benjamin Gittleson, Clark Bentson and Jon Williams contributed to this report.