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Police pull pooch patrol

Monday morning saw police managing an unusual situation after a huge St. Bernard dog became trapped in a dumpster – with the garbage collectors en route.

Castlegar RCMP Const. Sherry Karn said the call came in around 7 a.m. from staff at the Kootenay Market, who were concerned about the dog unwittingly ending up in a landfill. She said it appeared the dog had climbed up into the dumpster using some boards that were leaned against the receptacle, essentially forming a ramp – but then was unable to get out again.

“He (the dog) looked to me like a small horse ... he was a big dog,” she said, estimating his weight at about 160 pounds. “He outweighed me, that's for sure.”

Karn said she tried contacting the waste management company and the SPCA – to no avail, as it was too early for most offices to be open.

“He (the dog) seemed to have gotten into something that made him sick – he was covered in his own waste. It was quite heart-breaking,” she said, lauding the efforts of Kootenay Market staff under such, well ... yucky conditions. “They didn't think twice – their only concern was for the dog.”

She said market staff tried luring the dog out with hot dogs and other treats, but apparently the dog was feeling ill, or had eaten his fill during his dumpster-diving adventure, because he was having none of it.

With the help of market staff, Karn gathered some wooden pallets, which she threw in the dumpster, then tied a rope to the dog's collar. The group then pulled/coaxed the dog from the bin.

“We contacted the City of Castlegar animal control officer, who brought (the dog) to the (Castlegar Veterinary Hospital). The vet recognized him and he was returned to his owner,” Karn said. “From what we were advised, the owners were quite relieved ... and surprised, I think.”

Karn said her police training did not prepare her for this sort of call-out – but her experience on the force has, at least to some degree.

“I have to say, I do have a tendency to get a lot of animal calls,” she explained. “Dogs, bears, lost cows – My very first call as an RCMP officer (it was my first day in uniform and I was so proud) was about a dead cow.”

Police say that, as the subject in this case cooperated and was brought in without incident, charges of theft and disturbing the peace will not be levied.