Update at 3:32 p.m.Allow us to tip our hats to the hard-nosed reporters at NBC 5 who refused to give up on the trapped-puppy story. They braved several hours of near-freezing temps and were ultimately on hand to witness the dog's rescue.
City spokesman Frank Librio sends an email explaining that a teacher, whose nearby classroom the dog was born under a few months ago, first noticed that the puppy had found its way into the drain several days ago.
"Not realizing there was an outlet less than 100 yards away, she logically assumed the puppy had fallen in and was trapped," he writes. "So she sent her son down into the drain with food and blankets for the puppy and then began working to find a rescue group to help. The teacher and her son continued to take the puppy food whenever they saw it, and he learned to bark at them whenever he saw them."
Animal control was called to the scene on Friday, but they found no sign of the dog. Today, they were more tenacious, setting traps at both ends of the drain. The dog eventually wandered into one of them.
"Please understand that it is not uncommon for loose cats and dogs to take shelter in storm and sewer drains," Librio writes. "Usually they can get in and out on their own, but if you think one is trapped, please call us right away. Be sure to tell the 311 operator that the animal is trapped -not just loose."
Original post:Sometimes, a journalist shows up to report on something only to discover that there's nothing to report. No story. Maybe the tipster exaggerated. Maybe the managing editor has terrible news judgment. The only thing to do is shrug one's shoulders and, if the deadline's tight, churn out a couple of inches and hope no one notices.
Thanks to Twitter, the public can finally watch this process unfold in real time. Specifically, they can observe NBC 5 reporters Ken Kalthoff and Lindsay Wilcox discover that their heartwarming story of firefighters rescuing a puppy from a storm drain isn't going to happen.
Here's Kalthoff, reporting live from behind Jaycee/Zaragoza Recreation Center in West Dallas, having been tipped off to the trapped dog by a viewer:
But hold on. Animal control officers can find no evidence of a puppy. Kalthoff is incredulous:
And here she is:
Animal control officers monitoring puppy in storm drain; believe he may be able to come & go at will through a nearby outlet. @NBCDFW— lindsay wilcox (@LindsayNBC5) November 25, 2013
Looks like you'll have to find your heartwarming Thanksgiving week story elsewhere.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.