NEWS
08/05/2015 15:31 EDT | Updated 08/05/2016 01:12 EDT

Officers rescue Montana priest's puppy found stuck inside 30-foot drain pipe

BUTTE, Mont. — A Montana priest has his puppy back after law enforcement officers and an animal control officer pulled the shaking animal from the inside of a 30-foot drain pipe that runs under part of the church.

The Montana Standard reports (http://bit.ly/1DtMATT) the small black-and-brown animal couldn't be found after Sunday Mass in Butte. The Rev. Patrick Beretta said he initially suspected puppy-nappers had taken the 8-week-old mastiff.

Officers Patrick Fleming and Callie Daly looked for a potential dog thief but suspected the animal hadn't gone far.

They returned to the church and shined a flashlight into the pipe, spotting the puppy.

An animal control officer used a catch pole to nudge the dog within Fleming's reach so the officer could pull her to safety.

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This story has been corrected to show the puppy is a mastiff.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

The Associated Press