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Move over Red Dog, meet the Pilbara’s new wonder dog, Shanny, alive despite days in a Rio Tinto ore dumper – ABC News

A Pilbara pup is being hailed as a miracle mutt after surviving days at the bottom of a bin where tens of thousands of tonnes of iron ore was being dumped.

Shanny the SAFE Karratha rescue dog ran away from her home in the port town of Dampier, northern WA, in a recent thunderstorm.

Days later her owners received a phone call saying she had been found inside a dumper at a nearby Rio Tinto port facility where trains from inland mine sites dump iron ore before it is loaded on ships.

A dog inside a dumper at a Rio Tinto port facility in Dampier in 2023.

Travis Burrows is part of Rio Tinto’s emergency response team and was shocked to get a call saying a dog had been found stuck in the dumper.

“That was a miracle, to be honest, that the dog was still alive,” Mr Burrows says.

“That’s the first time I’ve heard of a dog falling down a dumper.”

It is believed Shanny had been in the dumper for two days with about 600 ore car loads dumped in there each day.

Each ore car can carry more than 100 tonnes of iron ore, meaning the dog managed to avoid more than 100,000 tonnes over two days.

“There was so much ore coming out, I do not know how that dog survived,” Mr Burrows says.

‘Possibly where it went down, it got stuck somewhere and was able to not get hit by the ore, which is amazing.”

A man in a hard hat and high vis holding a dog after a rescue

Mr Burrows describes it as the “craziest” and “most memorable” incident he has had to respond to at a Rio Tinto site.

“It was a really good outcome, the dog was unscathed really,” he says.

Shanny’s rescue soon became the talk of the site.

“Everyone who went past was like, ‘Oh, how’s the dog?’,” Mr Burrows says.

Shanny’s owner Eloise Dortch says she is incredibly grateful to the people involved in Shanny’s rescue, including a local ranger, and is amazed the dog came out with just a few scratches.

“She is totally back to her normal self, being a bit bossy and telling us when we should take her for a walk,” Ms Dortch said.

After getting the dog home, Ms Dortch took her inside for a drink of water.

“She gave one little shake and I learnt how much iron ore dust you can get on your kitchen floor.”

After a check over by the vet Shanny was given the all clear.

Koko starring in the 2011 Australian film Red Dog directed by Kriv Stenders.

Move over Red Dog?

Audiences fell in love with the story of the Pilbara’s famous Red Dog, and Sue Hedley from SAFE Karratha thinks Shanny’s story is also worthy of big-screen treatment.

“I’m sure someone would like to make a movie out of it,” she said.

“True stories like that are just incredible.”

Movie potential aside, those involved in Shanny’s rescue are just glad she is safe and are already planning a reunion to celebrate.

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