Man risks his own life to herocially save his dogs from a landslide

Pugni sits with his dogs after landslide rescue dog-happy
© Juri Pugni - Facebook

In 2014, the coastal city of Imperia in Italy was hit by torrential rainstorms. Landslides followed, forcing one man to act fast to save his dogs' lives.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 02/12/2019, 08:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22

After days of rain, the mountains around the city of Imperia in Italy were saturated. The soil, holding days of rainwater, finally gave way in some parts and began to tumble down the hillsides swallowing everything in its path.

Overlooking the city was the house of farmer Juri Pugni. It was soon in danger: tonnes of rain-sodden mud and clay were about to swallow Pugni’s home.

Pugni was on his farmstead at the time the landslide started, but his dogs Tira and Diana were in their kennel oblivious of their fate. By the time Pugni realised what was happening, the road leading back to the house had disintegrated. Pugni knew that if he did not reach his dogs in time, they would certainly be buried alive.

Rescue amid the landslide

Racing against time, he and his friend Gianni clambered over the landslide to reach the kennel. Just in time, with watery earth on its unstoppable passage, the pair managed to drag the two dogs from where they lay cowering.

I managed to get inside a trickle and climbed higher than the landslide and then got out, climbed over walls, and Gianni shed some light on the landslide. Without him I wouldn't have succeeded,” he wrote on Facebook at the time.

He claimed it was his love of the dogs that instilled him with the strength and determination to rescue them.

I was able to walk practically on the landslide while moving, I still don't know how I did it. [...] Tira and Diana didn't want to go out, I went into the little house and I pulled them out,"

Immediately afterwards the house came down with all the landslide on it. If we had taken just a little longer to get out, we would've been buried below. At that moment I thought only about saving them.

"The power of love can work miracles.”

Posted by Juri Pugni on Sunday, July 6, 2014