Family Discovers Dog In A Drain Pipe, Then Realizes She Has An Adorable Secret

They immediately started digging.

Last summer, a yellow Lab named Kota Bean and her brother, Ranger, bolted from their backyard after a storm damaged the electric fence.

Kota was known to burst through barriers any chance she could, but this breakout was different.

Kellie Deck Tuten

“Kota has always been an escape artist,” Kota’s mom, Kellie Deck Tuten, wrote on Facebook. “We have been through countless crates, kennels, cages and all sorts of ways to contain her during the very few hours we needed her contained.”

Anytime Kota escaped, she’d never stray too far from home. If her parents couldn’t find her that day, she’d always come back on her own later.

Kellie Deck Tuten

But day quickly turned into night, and both pups was nowhere to be found.

The Tutens jumped into action right away to get the word out about Kota and Ranger, distributing flyers and calling every nearby animal shelter.

Kellie Deck Tuten

They exhausted every avenue trying to find them — and when they reached a year without any sign of their dogs, the Tutens were close to giving up.

Until a few weeks later, when they came across a familiar face on Bibb County Animal Shelter’s website.

Kellie Deck Tuten

“They shared it with a general location in the description, and that’s when I saw her,” Tuten wrote. “I KNEW it was [Kota].”

Tuten recognized the area and contacted a friend who lived nearby.

Tuten’s friend confirmed seeing Kota and alerted her after every new sighting. Tuten always rushed over, but Kota would be gone by the time she arrived.

Then, she heard from another helper who seemed to have more answers about Kota’s life since her escape.

Kellie Deck Tuten

“[L]isa Wood … had been feeding my dog twice a day, took in her (not 1 but 2 litters of) puppies and found them all loving homes,” Tuten wrote.

Wood had seen Kota recently, but she had no idea where her latest litter of puppies was.

So she joined forces with the Tutens to find Kota’s babies and finally bring their long-lost pup home.

Kota evaded most of their efforts, but Wood eventually got her close enough to slip a collar with a GPS tracker over her head. Then, the team followed her to the puppies’ exact location.

Kellie Deck Tuten

But they were still far out of reach.

“[K]ota ran up to [a] drain pipe and sniffed and then ran back several feet and laid down,” Tuten wrote. “[W]e were pretty certain the puppies were in there ... but we couldn't hear or see them.”

Kellie Deck Tuten

With the help of friends Amy Beth Wall and Sean Wall, the team eventually cut into the tunnel in an attempt to better reach the little family.

After hours of digging, they finally pulled four chunky puppies out of the drain pipe.

Kellie Deck Tuten

The Tutens were happy to have the babies in their arms, but Kota was still too scared to join.

“It wasn’t until the next night that we were able to get Kota to jump in the car with us and the puppies and come home,” Tuten wrote.

Kellie Deck Tuten

Today, Kota and her puppies are back in the Tuten household and thriving.

You can see them here:

While the puppies settled in right away, Kota’s still getting used to a new life at home.

“She is still warming back up to us,” Tuten told The Dodo. “She doesn't have much interest in coming inside, which is a huge change from before. But she comes to greet us when we go sit in the backyard.”

Kellie Deck Tuten

Kota enjoys getting head scratches from her devoted humans, but she’s still healing from her frightening year alone.

“She doesn't seem interested in her old toys or anything either,” Tuten said. “It's been hard for us because it just makes it seem like she's unhappy here, but I think it's more so that she's still traumatized from having to fight to be safe.”

Kellie Deck Tuten

Kota’s family is taking things at her pace, and they look forward to the day when their Kota Bean feels comfortable at home again.

They're still desperately searching for Ranger and hope to wrap their arms around him soon. Until then, they remain thankful that their precious girl is right back where she belongs.