Three years ago, in the cold city of Khabarovsk, the largest city in Russia, a puppy was cruelly thrown into the crevice between an apartment block and a shop. Why anyone would ever want to entrap a dog in this manner is beyond us, but because of this one brutish action, a puppy has spent the last three years of his life staring at two walls in a dark and cramped enclosure, barking in desperation, and wailing during the cold winter. Residents of the apartment block fed the puppy on a daily basis and have tried numerous times over the years to lure the poor creature out of the hole, but unfortunately the puppy was too frightened to be coaxed. Determined to help the pup, the residents called The Emergencies’ Ministry and made the housing company and shop owners aware of the situation. They all refused to help.

Change truly came when a new apartment block resident arrived and was shocked at the dog’s story. He reached out to the media and once word started spreading, animal activists made their way to the apartment complex.


When activists saw the size of the opening in the wall, they were very perplexed. Now that the puppy had grown, she wouldn’t be able to slip out successfully. Smashing the wall in was considered, but seeing that they could possibly hurt the animal they began to brainstorm other options. 

Eventually, the activists decided that one of them would have to slip into the crevice, snag the pup with a rope of some sort, and slowly pull her out. 

Activist Darya Stepantsova bravely volunteered to climb into the hole. After a bit of digging, and a fearful moment where Darya thought she wouldn’t be able to crawl out, she and the dog emerged safely! 

Used to being in the dark and tight space of the wall, the pup was very skittish. The activists placed a muzzle on her and kept her tightly on the rope to avoid any injury.

The dog was immediately brought to a veterinarian office. She was found to be in pretty good health which is pretty amazing considering she’s been trapped with barely any room to move for three years! 

The resilient puppy is now in a temporary shelter and is still fearful of people, wide open spaces, and light. She hides and tries to find an enclosed space to burrow in, but vets are hopeful that she will eventually be able to settle down into a forever home. 

Watch the amazing rescue in action here: 




After the release, the puppy was renamed Volya, which translates to “freedom.” As absolutely heartbreaking as it is for us animal lovers to know that this poor puppy probably suffered tremendously in the three years she was trapped, we couldn’t be happier that this sweet pup is now free! She definitely has some trauma to overcome, but with some love and care, we have no doubts that this puppy has some happy days ahead of her! Good luck, Volya!


All image source: darya_stepantsova/Instagram and Andrey Chernov