Dog lost in Italian quake found alive after 9 days buried in rubble

A Golden Retriever and his owners reunited Friday, nine days after the dog was buried in rubble left when a 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook Italy on Aug. 24.

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Tipped off by the sound of the dog's barks, firefighters found Romeo buried under a pile of rubble, The Associated Press reported.

"We immediately began moving masonry from where the barking was coming from and, incredibly, we got to him and he was in pretty good condition," a fireman involved in the rescue told Italy's ANSA news agency.

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"Luckily some beams had fallen in a way that they were holding up the weight of everything above them, leaving Romeo with a little niche that he was able to survive in."

Italy's fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, shared video of the rescue on social media.

Romeo appeared nonplussed by the sudden change in his surroundings, although his tail was wagging.

"He's in great shape," one of the firemen said as others cheered.

Romeo seemed relaxed as a fireman gave him his first sips of water in days before he was reunited with his tearful owners, according to Agence France-Presse.

Romeo was sleeping on the first floor of a home in the village of San Lorenzo a Flaviano when the earthquake hit in the early morning hours of Aug. 24. His owners, who were asleep on the second floor, managed to get out of the home, AFP reported. Romeo, however, was trapped.

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His owners searched for hours before fleeing from the area due to the ongoing danger of aftershocks.

Nearly 300 people died when the earthquake struck. Hundreds of people were injured by the quake and thousands more displaced.

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