Jessica Donges had been looking for her two missing German shepherds, Zeus and Ziva, for 22 days when something drew her to an old missile silo near her house.
Donges and her family had posted notices on Facebook and plastered signs around Medical Lake, Wash., trying to locate the dogs, which had escaped through a hole in their fence, reported KREM. But nothing worked. Donges said she had started to lose hope when she found herself wandering through the former silo complex.
“I just heard a single bark, and I had to go check it out,” she told KREM. “When I walked through the door, I couldn’t even see, I couldn’t even see them. I just walked through the door and heard them barking.”
Zeus and Ziva had fallen into a pitch-dark, water-filled hole in the silo ruins, where they had become trapped, she told the station.
“There was this gigantic hole that they fell in, just deep enough basically so they couldn't get out on their own,” Donges told KHQ. “They were in the pitch dark for 22 days underground in a missile silo.”
Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies turned out to rescue Zeus and Ziva, reported KHQ. “I was freaking out crying, ecstatic that they were both still alive,” Donges told the station.
The hole into which Zeus and Ziva had fallen was 10 feet deep by 40 feet long, with about six inches of standing water at the bottom, according to The Spokesman-Review.
The site was once home to a Nike Hercules anti-aircraft missile battery run by the U.S. Army as part of the Fairchild Air Force Base defense area in the 1950s and 1960s, reported the publication. The Medical Lake site was decommissioned in 1966.
Donges said Zeus and Ziva are in good shape despite losing about 20 pounds apiece during their ordeal. “They are both very thin and definitely malnourished for sure,” she told The Spokesman-Review. “But they are here and they are alive.”