News & Politics

Sinkhole Eats Arlington Dog, Briefly

The dog survived, and Arlington is fixing the hole.

This is not the actual sinkhole.

The earth opened up under a dog in Arlington Wednesday, Ethan Rothstein reports for ARLNow. Someone who says she is the dog’s owner tells her horrifying story in a comment on the story: She and her dog, a pit bull named Sampson, were walking near Rockwell park “when he suddenly just fell through the earth.” She continues:

The ground simply disappeared below him. I was left holding his leash while he dangled. Fortunately, the leash clips in both the front and on his back, so he was suspended in two places.

The owner says she was able to hoist Sampson out of the hole.

No sinkhole stands a chance of surviving long in Arlington, which has “crews there actively repairing” the hole, county environmental services department spokesperson Jessica Baxter tells Rothstein.

Dogs find themselves unexpectedly exploring sinkholes more often than you’d think. In January, firefighters in Florida rescued a dog named Sanford from a sinkhole. And last February, firefighters in Buffalo, New York, rescued a German shepherd named Mack who fell 10 feet into a watery sinkhole. “He was happy to be out,” his owner, Mattie Moore, told the Buffalo News.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.