Derby the dog might be coming home today, two weeks after wastewater treatment plant workers in his namesake town rescued him from a pit 20 feet deep.
Carl Rose is ready to welcome the black Lab to his family.
Rose and co-workers found Derby at the bottom of a clarifier pit at the Derby Wastewater Treatment Plant on July 7. The dog broke his leg in the fall down the pit and, veterinarians discovered later, shattered his kneecap.
Rose called the Derby Fire Department, and a firefighter carried the dog to safety up a ladder.
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Derby underwent surgery July 19 for his broken leg.
Veterinarians at El Paso Animal Clinic in Derby, who performed orthopedic surgery on the dog, said he is recovering well, Rose said. They are hoping his kneecap will heal without surgery.
Rose said he tried to bring Derby home earlier this week, but the vets thought the dog needed to stay off his leg for a few more days. Rose has visited Derby at the vet, but he said "It's kind of a catch-22 because they want him to stay off his leg," and Derby gets excited when he has visitors.
Rose and his wife, Becky, recently sent thank-you letters to people who donated to Derby's care at El Paso.
Rose said they couldn't thank everyone because some people donated anonymously.
About $2,400 in donations came in from as far away as Dallas, Rose said.
Most donations came from Derby, Haysville and Wichita. Derby's vet bill so far is about $1,600. He still needs to be neutered, and some money will be left in his fund to cover future X-rays and care related to his fall. Any money left after paying bills will go to the Kansas Humane Society and an animal rescue clinic, Rose said.
How Derby got into the plant, which is fenced off, and into the clarifier pit, which is protected, remains a mystery.
Asked if he thought someone might have thrown the dog down the pit on purpose, Rose said, "God, I would hope not."
Derby will join Cricket, the Roses' cat, and Talon, their Chihuahua, when he comes home.
Rose is particularly thankful for a fellow city worker who anonymously matched $250 in donations.
"I have no clue who it is. I wish I did because I'd like to thank them," he said.