Berome Moore Cave in Missouri is one of the country’s longest and most extensive caves, featuring 22 miles of winding passageways through the dense, dark stone. A semi-popular destination for local cavers, Berome Moore Cave isn’t for the faint of heart, the claustrophobic, or the inexperienced.
Rick Haley and Gerry Keene, two experienced cavers, ventured into Berome Moore Cave to explore the tunnels, underground streams, and rock formations. Instead, the pair discovered something shocking: a mid-sized, shaggy, senior dog.
Completely dark with zero sources of light to see by, this dog had clearly been wandering the cave for some time, likely surviving on the streams of water in some of the tunnels. The only possible food source could have been crustaceans and small fish, but based on the dog’s condition, it seemed unlikely it had found much to eat.
Haley, who has some cave rescue training, knew that the dog would need their help to get out of the caves and cleared his duffle bag to make a spot for the senior pup to sit. Securing the malnourished and very nervous dog in the bag with her head poking out, Haley and Keene trekked back to the cave entrance.
Once outside in the light, it became clear that the dog had been in the cave for some time, but the rescuers could never have guessed just how long.
Haley and Keene contacted local authorities, receiving help from Biehle Assistant Fire Chief Robert Cohoon. Together, the three began canvassing the nearby area, searching door to door for someone who might recognize the dog, who unfortunately was not wearing a collar.
Finally, the group knocked on the right door, and the people that answered couldn’t believe their eyes.
Abby, their family dog, had gone missing around 2-months earlier, and though the family had searched, they had given up hope of ever seeing their dog again. Thrilled to be reunited with their beloved pup, the family was able to quickly get Abby the care she needed.
As for Abby, she was entirely cooperative the entire time. Abby knew Haley and Keene were there to help and let them do what they needed to to get her safely out of the caves. According to the brave rescue team, Abby was extremely tired and needed medical care but happy to be back home with her humans.