CLAYTON, Ga. (AP) -- A dog that fell into a 10-foot deep sewer hole in the northeast Georgia mountains survived for nearly three weeks on raw sewage, rain water and vegetation before being rescued, authorities said.
Phoebe, a lab mix, lost nearly half of her body weight in the ordeal, police in Clayton said.
"The veterinarian said she'd been living off plant material and dirt," the dog's owner Steve Carruth told The Associated Press Friday.
Carruth said he spent days searching for Phoebe after she went missing from his home on Screamer Mountain.
He feared that a bear might have gotten to the dog, and had all but given up hope of finding her alive.
"I literally had done everything in my power to find that girl, I love her to death," Carruth recalled.
Then, on Sunday, a passerby heard growling from an open manhole, spotted the dog and called police, CBS Atlanta reported.
Clayton police Sgt. Tim Brown and Officer Richard Hunter arrived and attached a cup to a pole, and managed to lower water to the dog. They were eventually able to use the pole to bring the dog to the surface.
The dog spent the night with City Manager Cissy Henry, herself a big dog lover, as they tried to find the dog's owner, Carruth said.
Phoebe was reunited with Carruth this week after city workers posted a photo of the dog at the Rabun Town Crier, an online site of Rabun County news. As soon as Carruth heard that a dog had been found and he saw the photo, he raced over to the town's offices.
"The dog just bolted to me and licked me for like 10 minutes," Carruth said. "It's truly a miracle."