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Beagles saved after falling into 100-foot well in Halifax County

Two rabbit-hunting beagles were rescued Saturday afternoon thanks to several specially trained county Large Animal Rescue Team members, Search and Rescue members and a South Boston firefighter.

Without the rescue team and search and rescue volunteers, the fate of the two little beagles could have had a very different outcome.

Alvin Dixon was rabbit hunting Saturday shortly after noon when two of his beagle dogs took a 100-foot fall into a well on Black Walnut Road in the Clover community.

Dixon started his Saturday morning hunt with seven dogs, and when only five returned by noon, the concerned hunter set off in search of the missing pair of beagles.

According to Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Services Chad Loftis, Dixon had been hunting with the owner of the land on which the well was located.

After calling for the dogs to no avail, Dixon and the landowner went to a vacant house in the woods to check and see if the dogs were there.

Located about 100 feet from the abandoned house was the tommy rock well covered in smooth rocks all the way to the bottom.

Sure enough, Dixon found the weight of the dogs had broken the planks covering the top of the well, and there in the bottom lay two exhausted hunting dogs.

That’s when Dixon and his hunting partner summoned the specially trained help.

According to Chief Animal Control Officer Todd Moser, the Large Animal Rescue Team and Search and Rescue, with the help of South Boston Fire Department, was on the scene by 2 p.m. to help rescue the beagles from the deep well.

“We lowered a member of the South Boston Fire Department into the well and removed each dog individually. They didn’t show any injury besides a little scrape,” said Moser.

“When Ray Conner got to the bottom of the well, he said both beagles seemed relieved to see him and jumped on his lap licking him,” he added.

At first Conner said he thought one of the two dogs was dead, but later it was determined the pooches had worn themselves out trying to escape the well, and one was quietly resting while the rescue took place, Loftis said.

Moser said five years ago the county didn’t have the training to help animals as they did on Saturday. Now they have four individuals who are members of the Large Animal Rescue Team trained for those situations, including Moser, Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders, Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Services Chad Loftis and Leah Brooks.

The two beagles, unscathed, were out of the well and running around by 4:30 p.m., said Moser.

And as for that well, the landowner said he plans to cover it with more secure planking, Loftis said.