Dog rescued after chasing cat into 5-foot deep hole dug by tortoise

Chandler Fire dug out the dog with a backhoe on Wednesday afternoon.Chandler Fire Department
Chandler Fire dug out the dog with a backhoe on Wednesday afternoon.

One Arizona Fire Department was met with a menagerie of problems after a dog got stuck chasing a cat into a 5-foot deep hole dug by a tortoise.

In fact, four different agencies from Chandler, Arizona were called in to help rescue Rubin the German schnauzer from the burrow on Wednesday afternoon. The might of the fire department, City of Chandler utilities, Arizona Public Service Electric Company, Southwest Gas -- and a backhoe -- managed to dig Rubin out unharmed.

The Chandler Fire Department posted video of the end of the rescue, showing Rubin emerge from the hole, shake off some dust and be on his way.

The whole operation took a total of four hours, the fire department said. The cat, well, he remained in the hole for awhile before emerging on his own.

Toby Passmore, the owner of the cadre of animals, said he and his wife were first tipped off to the issue when they couldn't find Rubin -- and heard barking from what sounded like underground in their backyard.

The 6-foot deep burrow of Scully, Passmore's African spurred tortoise, was the obvious location.

"They're awesome animals," Passmore told Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV of his tortoise. "It’s just if you have a dog that'll go down into the chamber of death that your tortoise digs, it's not a good fit."

Passmore told KNXV he began digging at the hole with his hands before calling the fire department, fearing Rubin would be running low on oxygen.

Passmore told The Arizona Republic he's had Scully for over 10 years.

It's safe to say Passmore and his wife will be keeping Rubin away from Scully's burrows in the future.

"I'm very thankful to have him back and OK, because like I said, that would have been a hard one to live with to lose him like that," Passmore said.