Dogs rescued after falling into cave sinkhole near Columbia

Rescuers pull Bullet the doberman up from a deep sinkhole at Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve on Wednesday. (Corey Saathoff photos)

Two large doberman pinschers were rescued after falling into a deep cave sinkhole opening at Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve near Columbia on Wednesday afternoon. 

Lisa Marks of Dupo was walking the trails of the large wooded area, located off Stemler Road in rural St. Clair County, shortly before 1:30 p.m. when she said the two dogs, named Bullet and Legend, wandered off near a steep decline and fell down into the opening, which was estimated to be about 30 feet deep.

Columbia, Millstadt and Signal Hill fire personnel joined St. Clair County Emergency Services in rescuing the dogs. Rescuers used ropes to form a pulley that lowered St. Clair Emergency Services responder Tim May of Columbia down into the hole. He then strapped each dog into a harness and they were pulled up to safety without harm.

The rescue was completed by around 3:45 p.m., and it appears the dogs were uninjured.

Bullet and Legend are reunited with their owner, Lisa Marks, following a rescue on Wednesday afternoon. Also pictured is Thomas Asher, Lisa’s grandson.
A view of the opening that two dobermans fell into on Wednesday afternoon.

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