Trapped Terrier Tales



A REVIEW of a random selection of "trapped terriers tales" (appended below) reveals some patterns that are worth noting:

  • Most of the dogs got into trouble when they were off-lead and with non-hunters. These folks seem to have very little clue about dogs in general, or terriers in specific. They also had no tools with them and no locator collars on their dogs. All of this makes for a recipe for trouble.
  • Some of these folks are repeat offenders, with the same dogs stuck more than once in the same hole and under the same stupid conditions (no leash, no tools, no clue). They say an insane person is someone who does the same thing again and again and expects different results.
  • Some of these rescues cost quite a lot of money, and that money was generally picked up by the RSPCA/ASPCA or local firefighters. I could only find one Fell and Moorland rescue; there must be more, but they seem to be less frequent, and are not making the papers.
  • Some of the dogs were not actually trapped -- they were just dedicated to getting their quarry, and were not leaving the earth at a time convenient to the owner. A dog that will leave an earth for a bitch in heat is not stuck -- just obstinate and dedicated. A lot of dogs will come out of the ground on their own if you give them a few hours of quiet time.
  • A lot the troubles were not in earth or rock, but in pipes and drains which (thankfully) we do not have as much of in our farm country. Vast rabbit warrens are another problem we do not have in the U.S.
  • A lot of the dogs were fat or overlarge. More than a few dogs escaped their predicament after they lost weight underground. Small dogs do not have to move earth to get to where they are going, and are less likely to bottle themselves up underground. A small thin dog can generally squeeze out of an earth much easier than a large fat dog.
  • A dog can be underground for a long time and still be all right. Some dogs have gone to ground for more than a week and come out alive in the end.


The San Francisco Chronicle
MAY 17, 2000

DOG TIRED; Walnut Creek terrier rescue mission ends successfully

Casey, the intrepid terrier rescued from an abandoned Walnut Creek water pipe, was recovering yesterday from her three-day ordeal in a 12-inch-wide abandoned water pipe.

The 3-year-old wire-haired fox terrier spent yesterday at a Lafayette veterinary clinic getting antibiotics and intravenous fluids and being treated for inflammation in her muscles caused from crouching for hours inside the pipe, veterinarian Robert Hagler said. Casey's owner, Roz Green, got to take the terrier back to their Lafayette home late in the afternoon.

"She's been through a lot," Hagler said. "She's tired, has severe muscle damage, damage to her skin. But she's a pretty tough dog. That breed of dog is pretty durable."

Casey's pedigree, in fact, is what probably led her to the abandoned pipe -- not once, but twice. A year ago she spent four hours stuck in the same pipe on the bank of Walnut Creek at Civic Park. That time, she was coaxed out with little trouble.

On Saturday, she went exploring again on the creek bank after being allowed to run off-leash at the park -- and found the same opening just as inviting as a year ago.

"They're bred to go into fox dens," Hagler said. "It's like they see a hole and boom, they're in it."

But this time, it took dozens of workers from agencies ranging from the Contra Costa Fire Protection District and the Walnut Creek public services department to Roto-Rooter and the Central Sanitary District to get Casey out of the pipe just after midnight yesterday.

The rescue workers, public and private, said they just saw it as doing their job and would not charge Casey's owners for extricating her from the pipe.

"I think that's extremely nice of them," Green said. "We would have paid, obviously, to get our dog out. I thank them greatly for that. It was just wonderful of them."

Green and her family were thrilled yesterday about the happy ending to Casey's adventure.

"She's a very resilient dog," Green said. "She has a lot of stamina."

It was impossible yesterday to find out what the rescue costs were. Most agencies said that their crews were on duty anyway, and that rescuing a dog isn't much different than some other out-of-the-ordinary things that cities and counties deal with, like sliding hillsides, flooded creeks and backed-up storm drains.

Walnut Creek spokesman Brad Rovanpera said the city spent about $1,000 on overtime and unspecified expenses Monday night for five workers who dug up Arroyo Way in several places as they tried to get close to the area of the pipe where Casey was stuck. Police crews who did traffic control were already on duty, and other expenses for equipment weren't available.

Work crews were out yesterday morning filling the holes and smoothing them out, but Rovanpera said that it was impossible to figure out how much it cost.

"We're talking about chump change," Rovanpera said, noting that the city has a healthy budget fueled by sales tax revenue from its booming downtown.

Mayor Charlie Abrams said that while some people might question all the resources put into rescuing a dog, he believed they were justified.

"I'm glad that the city put in the effort to do this," he said. "I think it was worthwhile."

Contra Costa Fire Capt. Dave George said he and a three-person crew from Concord fire station were already on duty when called out to assist.

"It's part of the normal tax dollars," George said. "We didn't use any extra resources."

The fire department has become more involved in animal rescues, with their most famous coming two years ago when they rescued a horse, Kachina, from a rain-swollen creek. The firefighters who worked on Casey's recovery have received special training and have special equipment to deal with animals.

Dogs have been rescued from storm drains, and firefighters in Concord last year managed to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog who swallowed a racquetball.

But George confirmed that firefighters won't come out to rescue cats stuck up in trees or on telephone poles. He said it's often too hard to get heavy fire trucks close enough to the trees, and that vets told them that cats don't need help anyway, no matter how scared they may seem.

"You know the old saying, You never see a skeleton of a cat in a tree,' "George said. "All these cats come down."

Worthing Herald
April 1, 2004

Pet lover praises firemen

A WOMAN has praised Lancing firefighters who rescued her trapped dog last week. Sheila Brown called West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service last Wednesday after her three-year-old border terrier, Shelby, had become stuck down a hole near the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach. Ms Brown said she had gone walking with her niece and three dogs on the beach at noon, when the dogs ran down a hole. She said her niece was able to pull two of the dogs out, but Shelby remained stuck in the hole. She said several passers-by helped, but after two hours she decided to call the fire brigade for help. Ms Brown, of Shoreham Beach, said: "I thought she had gone. We thought of calling all kinds of people like the RSCPA. I thought if we did not get her out, she might not survive. "It was like the cavalry coming down Old Fort Road. They were so professional. They were very kind to me. As soon as they were here, I knew they were going to get her out".

The crew from Lancing fire station dug Shelby out using shovels and spades.

Ms Brown said Shelby was fine after her ordeal and had even wanted to go back into the hole afterwards.


The Express
October 17, 2003

Dog in Drain Saved After 3 Days … At Cost of GBP 1,000; A Ruff Time

A TERRIER sparked a major rescue operation by getting stuck in a drain pipe - for three days.

Suzie the Jack Russell had scented a fox and then kept edging along an eight-inch diameter drain running 30 metres down the length of a field.

Farmer Graham Sadler and fire crews with 10-metre rods and camera equipment battled to free her and she was finally pulled to safety.

She had cost Mr Sadler, 53, GBP 1,000 in labour costs and left his pasture cratered with 6 ft-deep holes.

But the moment she emerged blinking into the daylight in the field in Little Bloxwich, near Walsall, West Midlands, made it all worthwhile for her young owners, Liam Ball, 12, and his sister Stacey, eight.

Their father Brian said: "The farmer was fantastic.

He brought in excavators so we could dig around the area when he probably had more important things to do."

Daily Mirror
February 24, 1996

Trapped Max is Freed by Love: Bitch in Heat Lures Trapped Terrier Out of a Badger Set

MAX the terrier was saved from six days of hell in a badger sett - by the the promise of a night of passion

A bitch on heat was taken to the entrance of the tunnel and allowed to walk round it. Soon after, trapped Max emerged looking thin and hungry . . . "but with a definite glint in his eye," said policewoman Jacqui Hanson.

Max, 14, vanished into the sett while out for a walk with his master at Kelsall, Cheshire.

The worried owner shouted his name and put food at the entrance. But Max stayed put.

Digging him out was not possible because badgers are protected by law.

Then police and wildlife experts hit on the idea of luring Max out with love. "It was suggested that the charms of a lady dog might work where food and treats had failed, and so it did," said Jacqui.

Police praised the owner, who refused to be named, for not damaging the sett.


Gloucestershire Echo
April 25, 2003

Terrier Stuck In Rabbit Hole

Firefighters had to dig out a terrier stuck in a hole. The dog got trapped in a rabbit warren near Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe. His owner raised the alarm at 3.40pm yesterday.

Firefighters made the hole bigger so the terrier could scramble out. He was not injured

.


The People
June 2, 2002

Pets and Their People: Stuck in a Rabbit Hole

FIRE-fighters had to dig a 6ft hole to free a terrier after he got stuck in a rabbit hole for 13 HOURS at a country park in Northants.


Bristol United Press
Western Daily Press
December 23, 2002

Trapped terrier's miracle escape

A TERRIER has performed a great escape by scrambling out of a rabbit hole 13 days after he was trapped and left for dead.

Postman Joe Tait had long given up on Sammy when he turned up on his doorstep in Bridport, Dorset, wagging his tail.

The tiny mud-plastered Jack Russell had been buried alive for nearly a fortnight without food or water.

Joe, 57, had taken Sammy for a walk with his father Harry when he shot off and disappeared down a rabbit's burrow.

Joe and his wife office worker Sylvia, 54, went out looking for the one-year -old terrier for more than a week and had given up hope of finding him.

"After spending 10 days hunting, we had given him up for dead," Joe said. "Sylvia suggested we should shut the back gate, but I said leave it open just in case.

"Then one morning at 1.45 am I was woken by the sound of barking and sure enough he was at the door.

"He was all skin and bone, but managed to wag his tail. He smelt horrible and was covered in brown dirt from where he had climbed out.

"I don't mind admitting I cried."

Sammy was half his normal 6.2 kgs weight. It is thought his loss of weight made him thin enough to squeeze back out of the tunnel.

Vets believe he was saved by the wet weather which enabled him to lap up vital moisture.

 

Bristol United Press
Western Daily Press
November 20, 2002

Trapped Terrier

Gilwern -- A small dog became trapped after squeezing itself into a pipe only eight inches wide. Fire crews had to rescue the Jack Russell which got wedged in a drainage pipe under the A465. The dog was trapped for several hours but was unharmed.


 

Leicester Mercury
October 13, 2001

Terrier's tight situation

A trapped terrier was rescued by firefighters from an underground pipe - and then tried to jump straight back.

The Jack Russell, called Mork, was stuck in a pipe at Western Park Golf Course, off Scudamore Road, Leicester, last night.

The crews used stereophonic listening equipment to locate the dog, which was trapped in a 10-inch drainage pipe more than two feet underground.

The dog's seven-hour ordeal ended at 3.45 am today.

The dog's owner and his two children were at the scene to welcome Mork out.

Sub officer Alistair Burns said: "It got into the pipe and couldn't get any further. It must have been blocked half way along and the dog couldn't turn round.

"It was quite nice when we cut away the concrete pipe because we could see its head and it stuck its nose through, so we knew it was going to be all right.

"The owner was there throughout. He was getting a little bit concerned because of the length of time the dog had been down there, but we have been to incidents where dogs have been stuck two or three days and survived. He and the children were quite relieved when it came out.

"It came out bounding around. It was quite happy. At one point it even tried to go back down the hole!

"


Leicester Mercury
November 28, 2000

Stuck Fast: Skuzzy the Terrier Saved from Quarry Rabbit Hole

More than 100 tonnes of earth and stone had to be moved by a JCB to rescue a terrier stuck in a rabbit hole at Whitwick Quarry.

The 11-year-old dog, named Skuzzy, had been out with his owner Robert Fieldsend when he bolted at about 4 pm on Sunday.

He was found wedged tight two metres into a rabbit hole about six metres up the side of a quarry face.

The RSPCA and Coalville fire brigade worked late into Sunday night to try to free the dog, but were unable to reach him.

But yesterday morning Midland Quarry Products, owners of the quarry, volunteered its services to help reach the dog using the JCB and other machinery.

Richard Nevin, unit manager at Midland Quarry Products, Whitwick, said: "The dog was stuck in a crevice and was a very difficult location to get to.

"We tried to pull him out with a neck hoop and then had to build a platform so we could use the JCB.

"We then had to be careful about moving the rocks out of the way and used straw to block up holes so that the area would not collapse.

"In all we moved about 100 tonnes of material in about two hours before the dog was freed at about noon."


RSPCA inspector Richard Durant said: "This was a tricky rescue. We could see the dog, but the gap was too narrow to get him out.

"With the help of the company's JCB we were able to dig a way through the rock and retrieve Skuzzy.

"His nails were worn down to the quick, but other than that he was unscathed, although very dirty."

Mr Fieldsend, 44, of St Bernard's Road, Whitwick, said he had been worried sick about Skuzzy throughout his ordeal and was delighted he was now back at home.

He said: "My dogs all spotted something and ran off at a great pace. When I reached them, Skuzzy was stuck in the hole.

"I have got nothing but praise for the quarry company for having so much patience, and even getting a JCB out. I also have a lot of time for the fire brigade and RSPCA for their help.

"I've had Skuzzy since he was a puppy and he's my oldest dog now.

"I'll be keeping a close eye on him now and at the moment he's getting lots of sleep and plenty to eat to get him over what happened."

Aberdeen Press and Journal
May 13, 2000

Lucky escape for terrier Tina

A POTTERTON man's determination to rescue his trapped pet paid off yesterday when the terrier was freed after 14 hours stuck in a rabbit hole - just seconds before a quarry face collapsed.

Greig Wilson, of Denview Road, had been out for an evening stroll with his Yorkshire terrier Tina when she disappeared underground in disused Old Hatton Quarry just outside the village.

"The last thing I saw was Tina vanishing down a rabbit hole," said Mr Wilson. The 48-year-old lorry driver frantically searched and shouted for the dog after she failed to reappear on Thursday, then went for a spade and tried to dig out the burrow.

Mr Wilson was back on the scene yesterday along with helpers from the SSPCA and Grampian Fire Brigade who tried to locate the lost terrier using a thermal-imaging camera. A JCB digger joined the hunt just after 8 am.

Around two hours later, said SSPCA Chief Inspector Bill Simpson, the little dog was spotted.

He said: "She is one very lucky dog. The quarry was a very dangerous place to work in, with clay on top of sand. The dog finally shot out as we were carefully working towards her, and seconds later a whole quarry face of tons of sand came crashing down. It was a near thing."

Tina bounded straight across to Mr Wilson's wife Margaret for a tearful reunion.

Last night Mr Wilson said he was relieved to have Tina back. "We just can't express how grateful we are to everyone, especially Steve Wilson for providing the digger."

Mr Wilson added that the disused quarry was a regular walking route for him and Tina, but this would now have to change. "I am going to get her a treadmill," he joked.




Birmingham Evening Mail
January 4, 2000

Dog Rescued

A LOST Jack Russell terrier was reunited with its owners today after its rescue from a pipe at a stream in Willenhall.

The animal was found trapped inside a culvert after workers from nearby KB Double Glazing, in Somerford Place, returned to work after their Christmas break and heard it barking.




The Sentinel (Stoke)
January 25, 1999

Crew abseil into quarry to rescue terrier

FIREFIGHTERS abseiled down a quarry near Stafford to rescue a stranded dog.

The terrier, called Samson, was stuck on a ledge 70ft from the bottom of Brocton Quarry, Cannock Chase.

Members of Stafford fire station's rope rescue team recovered the pet from among gorse bushes.

They were alerted after the owners discovered the dog on the ledge yesterday morning.

The family, who have not been named, had been searching for their pet after it went missing on Saturday afternoon.

Leading firefighter Steve Whitehouse said: "The rope rescue unit from Stafford sent a couple of men down from the top of the quarry.

"They abseiled down to the ledge where the dog was stuck and one of the them collected it and took it down to the bottom of the quarry.

"The dog was fine. It was a bit hungry, but was wagging its tail when it was re-united with its owners."

The rescue operation, which began at 10 am, took just over an hour to complete.


Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd.
Daily Record
March 3, 1998

Trapped Terriers Rosie is Saved by Heat Seeking Camera

A little dog was freed yesterday after 20 HOURS trapped underground.

Six-year-old Rosie was chasing a fox when she disappeared down a hole.

The Border Terrier got stuck in a drainage pipe and fire crews had to use a heat-seeking camera to track her down.

Rescuers heard her whimpering and started a desperate race against time to free the petrified pooch.

A mechanical digger was brought in to shift two feet of rock and soil and expose the pipe where Rosie lay trapped.

She eventually emerged muddy, dazed and blinking in the sunlight - and wagged her tail as she saw owner Alexander Arundel.

As Rosie licked his face, relieved Alexander said: "I'm so happy she came back to us safe and sound."

The drama started at teatime on Sunday while Rosie was out for a walk in a field near Ormiston, East Lothian.

Alexander saw her vanish down a pipe connected to the underground drainage system.

He called out for her, but Rosie had got stuck.

Yesterday, Alexander was joined by firemen, police officers and the SSPCA in the hunt for the missing mutt.

They eventually found her about 100 yards from where she disappeared and had to break the pipe to get her out.

Alexander, 38, of nearby Tranent, said: "We've had her since she was a puppy. My seven- year-old daughter Rache was heartbroken when she went missing.

"I never thought I'd be so glad to see the back end of a dog in all my life when I saw her in the pipe."

Rosie seemed to have suffered nothing worse than a cut tongue during her ordeal.

But she was taken to the vet's for a check-up just to make sure.

Alexander's nephew, Gary Waterstone, said: "I doubt if Rosie knows what a fuss she's caused, but perhaps it'll put her off going down any more holes."

Inspector Jill MacLean, of the SSPCA, said: "Border Terriers are a very resilient breed as Rosie has proved."


Derby Evening Telegraph
December 6, 1999

Dog freed from hole

FIREFIGHTERS had to rescue a Jack Russell terrier which was stuck in a rabbit hole for more than 89 hours.

Six-year-old Lucy, whose owners, Theresa and Ralph Spurr, live in Vine Crescent, Sandiacre, went missing on Tuesday and was not found until her whimpers were heard by a passer-by at Stony Clouds on Saturday.

She had become wedged down a nine-inch wide hole and was stuck three feet underground. On Saturday, the firefighters had to battle rain, wind and sleet as they dug the terrified terrier out of the hole.

Sub-officer Ray Dring said: "Our main fear was that the hole would collapse and suffocate her. After about 45 minutes, we saw a snout poking out. Once her head was free, she helped us by wriggling around."




THE JOURNAL (Newcastle, UK)
May 4, 1999

Attempt to rescue terrier

AN operation was underway early this morning to rescue a terrier stuck 10ft below ground in a 9in storm drain.

The dog became trapped in mud and fire crews were called to Hunter's Close, Consett, to try to pump away the debris.

Eventually it was realised their equipment could not help and the terrier's owner and neighbours were given council permission to dig up part of the road in a bid to rescue the animal.


Press Association
April 9, 1993

Rescue Team Wins Six-Day Battle to Save Dog

A pet dog buried alive 25 ft below ground was brought to the surface today after a six-day rescue battle. The bedraggled and emaciated five-year-old border terrier, Rastus, was finally dug out at 5.30 pm after becoming stuck in a quarry while chasing a rabbit a week ago on Saturday afternoon. A team of firemen, RSPCA officers, police and the dog's owners, Pam and Peter Drake, and their friends dug with spades and their bare hands through the 25 ft of earth for five-and-a-half hours today after a 14-ton crane had lifted out tons of boulders. The terrified dog was reunited with the overjoyed couple and his saviour - Jengo the lurcher dog who led Peter and Pam to the spot where Rastus disappeared at disused Hoggs Halls Quarry on the moors above Keighley, West Yorks. He was found by Les Rushworth, 23, of Lane Ends, Oakworth, Keighley, who had spent hours digging during the three days. He crawled into a tiny six-inch wide hole and after shoveling soil out of the way he reached out and touched the frightened animal. Les, a family friend, declared: "I'm no hero. It was a team effort. Everybody has done a fantastic job. It was a great feeling to see Rastus alive. We'd started to give up hope, until we heard him bark again." Beaming Pam, 30, of Guardhouse, Keighley, hugged the surprisingly healthy-looking pet and said "It's absolutely brilliant and everybody has been marvellous. We were starting to wonder if he'd get out alive after all this time but we owe it all to the RSPCA, the digger driver, the firemen and everyone who did such a terrific job." Acting RSPCA Chief Insp Derek Woodfield said Rastus was the luckiest dog around. "To spend six days in there and to not only come out alive, but to look quite healthy is remarkable. I was getting concerned when we hadn't heard a sound from him for so long - about 29 hours. But we knew things looked good when we found some dog hairs and heard him barking."




Press Association
October 20, 1992

Lucky Rescue for Trapped Terrier


A team of six firemen today battled for four hours to rescue a dog trapped in a disused quarry. The terrier, dubbed Lucky by its saviours, was trapped 10 feet underground after climbing through a tiny hole in a pile of rocks. A JCB digger was brought in to remove tons of boulders and earth, and then firemen and RSPCA officers used shovels and their bare hands to remove rock.

The alarm was raised on Monday afternoon after Stuart Hill and Richard O'Callaghan, both 13, heard the dog's pitiful yelps while playing in Middlebrook Quarry, Bradford, West Yorkshire. It was too late to use the JCB and RSPCA Inspector Kevin Johnson scooped dog food down the hole to help it through the freezing night. It is not known who Lucky belongs to.




Press Association
July 14, 1991

Trapped Terriers ‘Back from the Dead’


Two trapped Jack Russell terriers amazed their owners and RSPCA experts by clawing their way out of underground burrows a week after being given up for dead. Rescuers, including firemen using ultra sound equipment, gave up all hope of finding the pair after they vanished two weeks ago down a rabbit warren at Jarrow Cemetery, Tyne and Wear, a mile from their home. Owner John Melia spent a frantic week trying to find five-year-old Cindy and Blade before giving up the search but a week later the weary and starving dogs managed to dig their way out and walk home. Mr Melia, 31, of Beaufront Terrace, Jarrow, said: "I could not believe my eyes when I saw them coming towards me - we had given them up for dead. They were like skeletons, emaciated and covered in mud."




The Times
April 20, 1991

Cave team rescues trapped terrier

CAVERS tunnelling 40 ft into a mountain in South Wales freed a pet dog yesterday that had been trapped underground for over a fortnight, but the search for two other dogs has been abandoned.

RSPCA workers and volunteers from the Cwmbran cave rescue team dug through loose rock and giant boulders in a disused quarry to reach Sam, a Jack Russell terrier, in one of the biggest rescues mounted by the RSPCA.

Tunnelling in shifts, the rescuers dug out about 100 tonnes of rocks from the side of the quarry near the village of Varteg, Gwent. A portable generator provided power for a hammer-drill to speed up the work. The three dogs had disappeared after chasing a fox into a hole.

Graham Stark, a former miner leading the subterranean hunt, had to squeeze into a gap only inches wide at the bottom of the tunnel to get close to the animal. His efforts to entice the six-year-old dog with pieces of sausage sandwich failed until late in the afternoon when he was able to coax it near enough to throw a loop of rope over it. The RSPCA said: ''The rescued dog was in remarkably good condition considering it has been underground for all that time, but it was obviously very weak.'' The charity estimated that the rescue had cost about Pounds 1,000, excluding help from the fire brigade and cave rescue team.

Sam's owner, Simon Clark, from Varteg, said: ''The RSPCA and the cavers have been absolutely incredible. They just never gave up.'

'



Hobart Mercury
February 3, 1988

Ham Sandwich Helps Rescue Terrier

A humble ham sandwich saved the life of Rocky, the terrier which spent eight days trapped underground.

The dog fell 12 metres down a narrow crevasse near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, while out with his master, Gareth Davis, 16.

RSPCA men, using power drills, only managed to get five metres closer to Rocky after a week's work. A mine rescue team took over.

One miner lowered a rope with a noose to the dog. He ingeniously tossed a ham sandwich to the other side of the noose.

As Rocky put his head through the noose to grab the sandwich, the miner pulled it tight and dragged him to safety.

Western Morning News (Plymouth)
September 19, 2003

Hope Is Fading For Crevice Dog

RSPCA inspectors and mine rescuers who have worked for 48 hours to free a dog from a narrow crevice in West Cornwall said yesterday they were losing hope of getting the animal out alive. Rescuers spent five hours in the crevice at Godrevy, near Hayle, in a bid to rescue the terrier which disappeared on Monday, but were unable to retrieve the dog. Chief inspector Les Sutton of the RSPCA said the dog had been given food and water but it was almost impossible to reach. "I am not at all optimistic about success," said Mr Sutton. He said another attempt may be made today.


The Evening Standard (London)
October 16, 2003

Pet dog rescued after three days trapped underground


A PET dog has been rescued after spending three days trapped six feet underground. The Lakeland terrier, called Suzie, had chased a rabbit into a drainage pipe beneath a field in Little Bloxwich, near Walsall. She was reunited with her owner Stacey Bell yesterday when a mechanical digger was used to create a trench through which local rescuers could reach her.


EVENING CHRONICLE (Newcastle, UK)
November 13, 1999

Trapped Terriers Rescues After 30 Hours


A TRAUMATISED terrier trapped in a maze of rabbit warrens is now recovering from its 30-hour ordeal.

Pip the Jack Russell's nightmare ended when firefighters from Amble spent three hours digging their way into the crumbling warrens, 10ft under a sand dune.

Encouraged by the sound of their calls the four-year-old pet dog struggled to dig his way towards the rescuers, but the soft sand kept collapsing around him.

By the time firefighter Robert Stewart reached him, Pip was embedded in a block of solid sand.

"He was very traumatised when he came out and is feeling very sorry for himself," said owner, Barbara Carter, of Lint Close, Alnmouth, Northumber-land.

"He is getting better, but he won't be going down any more holes for a while."

Mrs Carter had taken Pip for a walk with another dog, Rye, on Wednesday afternoon when he disappeared into a hole in the dunes. She said: "Dog walkers know about that hole and I shouted for Pip and Rye to come away from it. Rye did, but after walking another 20 yards I realised Pip was missing."

Mrs Carter and her husband, Jim Harbord, spent the rest of the night trying to locate Pip.

"We called and shouted, but there wasn't a sound," said Mr Harbord.

They returned the next day and were joined by other dog lovers. One of them heard a sound and they began to dig towards it.

They were later joined by a crew from Amble fire station.

The crew contacted RAF Boulmer to borrow heat-imaging equipment, but when the high-tec gear arrived it proved difficult to use because the sand was so tightly packed. "It was quite dangerous for the firefighters," said assistant divisional fire officer Ian Pringle.

"They dug down 10 ft and there was a possibility the sides could collapse because they were just sand.

"As a safety precaution they used a small ladder to help shore up the hole and only allowed one roped firefighter in at a time."

Mrs Carter, a former Alnwick district councillor, said: "They did an absolutely fantastic job.

"Pip tried hard to dig towards them, but he was in solid sand by the time they reached him.

He has sand in his eyes and ears and is pretty sore, and I gave him a real telling off when he came out."


UK Newsquest Regional Press
May 19, 2003

Dog rescued after four hours trapped in rocks

A JACK Russell terrier which became trapped beneath two finely balanced boulders was freed after a delicate rescue by firefighters.

Unable to tell which way the rocks would move it took up to four hours to rescue Bracken which had chased a rabbit into the rubble.

And when finally rescued it had to be prevented from trying to get down the same hole in pursuit of its quarry.

Thankful owner John Myers of Quarrington Hill County Durham said the terrier had been out walking with his son Stephen 15 at a disused quarry when it chased a rabbit under rocks.

He said: "My son ran two miles to alert me. When I got there I could touch him but his head was stuck fast between two boulders weighing tonnes.

Part-time firefighters from Wheatley Hill attended the scene.

Divisional Officer Dave Turnbull said: "The rocks were precarious so we were loath to just rush in. They systematically moved the boulders it was a bit like playing Kerplunk. That is why it took so long.

"They were all part-time personnel but what they did was in the true spirit and profession of the fire service.

"All the personnel are trained with cutting and lifting gear but that is usually put into practice with road traffic accidents.

"This however was one of the humanitarian services we very rarely come across and fire crews need to be Jack-of-all-trades.

"We get a lot of dogs down holes and crevices but usually nothing like this.

"My Myers was very happy with what we did. The look on his face when the dog came out was worth a million dollars. It was nice to have that."


UK Newsquest Regional Press
May 2, 2003

Flossy's fox hunt led to hole fiasco


A JACK RUSSELL from Sheen who decided to investigate the fox hole at the back of her garden had to be rescued by fire fighters after getting stuck 3 metres below the earth.

Richmond Fire Station received a call at 8.04 pm on April 27th to East Sheen Avenue where Flossy' a Jack Russell Terrier had become stuck in a fox hole in the back garden.

Arriving at 8.11 pm firefighters were led to the hole by barks from under the earth and found that Flossy' was three metres under after unsuccessful attempts by the owners to coax her out.

Having checked to make sure that the hole was not the opening to a badger sett interfering with which would be illegal firefighters dug down as near to the dog as they could creating a tunnel through which they brought the terrier out within fifteen minutes. She apparently relished all the attention. The owners have now blocked the hole with concrete. Firefighters left the scene at 8.38 pm.


Gloucestershire Echo
April 25, 2003


Terrier Stuck In Rabbit Hole

Firefighters had to dig out a terrier stuck in a hole. The dog got trapped in a rabbit warren near Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe.

His owner raised the alarm at 3.40 pm yesterday.

Firefighters made the hole bigger so the terrier could scramble out. He was not injured.


Western Daily Press
April 18, 2003

Owner In Plea For Help To Save Dog In Hole

When Sniper the terrier spotted a bank full of holes, it was natural for him to plunge down one. And there he has remained ever since. The tragic terrier has been stuck in the hole in a Wiltshire field since Saturday evening, and last night it appeared there was nothing anyone could do to get him out.

A single possible yelp was all that was heard from Sniper yesterday, and owner Sheila Ward appealed for help to get him out.

The fire brigade, police and RSPCA said they had tried all they could but because of the inaccessibility of the bank, the unstable ground and the sheer number of tunnels, there was not much more they could do.

So owner Sheila and her friends were yesterday appealing for experts with thermal imaging cameras to help them with their search.

Sheila had even tried sending Sniper's puppies down the hole in a bid to extricate him from the murky depths. Another dog sent down the hole on Wednesday became stuck itself and had to be dug out.

The drama began on Saturday when Sniper was being taken for a walk in the countryside around the village of Whitley, near Melksham. The eight-year-old disappeared into a large wooded bank that used to be a landfill area.

Sheila and her friends searched for the dog for two days, and put up posters around the village offering a reward of 200 for the dog's safe return. But it was not until Tuesday that they heard desperate yelps coming from the network of tunnels, disused badger setts and fox holes.

The fire brigade and the RSPCA were called, but after a day of digging and searching, failed to find the stuck terrier.

A fire brigade spokesman said there was nothing its officers could do in the circumstances, while an RSPCA inspector said the society did not have suitable equipment for the job.

And last night, it appeared the rescue services had largely given up any hope of finding Sniper alive.

Sheila and her friends have maintained an almost constant vigil at the spot at Whitley Farm ever since, and yesterday their only visitor was an official from Defra, assisted by two police officers, who came to confirm that the location was not a live badger sett.

Last night, hope was fading that Sniper can be brought out alive. Sheila said: "We're all tired and desperate. We've been here for days now, and it's

exhausting. We just need to know exactly where he is so we can dig straight down.

"Every time we dig a larger hole and a tunnel, the sides just give way and it all collapses. We're desperate to get him out. We've sent his puppies down there and we think they found him, but it seems impossible to get him out."

The People
December 22, 2002

Dog Starved Out of a Hole


SAMMY, a podgy Jack Russell terrier, slimmed his way free after 13 days trapped in a rabbit hole.

He shed 8 lb - almost half his body weight - to squeeze out of the 12-inch burrow and walk half-a-mile home at Bridport, Dorset.

Amazed owner, postman Joe Tait, said: "I searched all over for him. I thought he was dead. He survived by drinking rainwater."


Bristol United Press
Western Daily Press
November 8, 2002

Pooch rescued from underground peril

LUCKY pooch Midge breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after she was dug out of a badger's sett she had been stuck in for nearly 60 hours.

Midge, a four-and-a-half-year-old border terrier, had gone missing from her home in Blagdon, North Somerset, while on a walk on Tuesday.

Her owner Victoria Thomas believes the adventurous terrier ran off on the scent of a fox.

She said: "She has rather a penchant for chasing foxes and she took off after one and did not come back.

"She must have followed it into a hole and got stuck.

"She often runs off and I expected her to be home on Tuesday evening. When she wasn't I drove around her usual haunts but could not find her." When Midge still was not home on Wednesday night Mrs Thomas began to suspect she had got stuck underground.

Yesterday morning, just after seven o'clock, she went to the badgers' sett at nearby Hanging Wood and heard Midge whining from beneath the ground.

Mrs Thomas, 37, said: "I got a shovel and starting digging. I called in and told work I wouldn't be in and then I was joined by my neighbour and my father, who had driven down especially from North Wales."

Eventually Avon Fire brigade came to the rescue. They first had to get a certificate from Defra for permission to dig up the sett, which is protected by law, and nearly three hours later Midge was hauled out.


Bristol Evening Post
September 13, 2001

Six hour drain pipe ordeal

OWNER Sheila Hill gives Bobby the Norfolk terrier a special hug after his six -hour rescue ordeal.

He became wedged in a nine-inch drain pipe when she took the ten-year-old terrier on a walk in Eastville Park.

Firefighters spent more than six hours using digging equipment and miniature cameras to locate and release the trapped dog.

He was taken to the RSPCA clinic for a check before being taken home.

Mrs Hill, of River View, Stapleton, praised Avon Fire Brigade for saving Bobby, whom she picked up from a dogs' home five years ago.

She said: "He's fine now but I just want to thank everyone who took part.

Without them Bobby would definitely not be here now.

"The pipe was at the edge of the lake and I think he smelled a rat and went to investigate.

"This is the third time he has had to be rescued by the fire brigade. Five years ago he chased a fox into a hole and had to be dug out. I shall definitely be keeping him on a lead now."

Some of the firefighters even recognised her from the last time he got stuck.

Mrs Hill said that Bobby always went for walks with his best friend Todd, a 13 year-old fox terrier, who waited for him throughout the rescue ordeal.

"They are such good friends. They are both from the animal shelter and Todd came along when we chose Bobby."


Birmingham Evening Mail
June 23, 2001

Trapped Dog’s Digger Drama


A DOG trapped three metres down a storm drain was rescued by fire crews - after its worried owner drafted in a JCB borrowed from her neighbour.

The terrier was thought to have been chasing a rabbit on land belonging to its owner in Stoneywell Lane, Longdon, near Rugeley, when it became trapped just before 12.30 pm yesterday.

Fire crews from Rugeley and Stafford launched a three-hour rescue operation, which was boosted when a loaned JCB helped them dig up a grass verge to reach the animal.

The dog was freed unhurt just after 3.30 pm.

Station officer Ian Sloss, of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'The owner managed to get hold of a JCB borrowed from her neighbour.

'The dog was barking the whole time and was fine when it was released. The owner was very relieved because she had obviously been concerned.'


Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd.
Daily Record
June 1, 2001, Friday

Miracle Mutt Del Survives Week in a Burrow


A LOST dog was found by his owners - after surviving a week stuck down a rabbit hole.

Gordon and Mary Stewart had given up their Lakeland Terrier Del for dead.

But they decided to have one last look for him - and yesterday they hailed Del a canine miracle over his survival.

Del went missing after chasing a rabbit when Gordon, 45, and Mary, 40, were walking him in woods near their home in Fauldhouse, West Lothian.

Despite frantic searches involving friends and family, there was no trace of him.

They decided to have one final search and were stunned to find him buried alive seven feet down a burrow.

The 20-month-old dog was being pampered at home by the relieved couple yesterday and Mary said: "Having him home is better than winning the lottery."

Her heartbroken children, Mhairi and Laura, had started to lose hope of ever seeing him again.

She said: "When we got to where he had gone missing, we called his name and we heard a faint bark.

"Gordon started to dig and everyone started helping him and there was Del standing there just looking at us.

"It was amazing."

Local vet Graham Sherriff said Del's survival was nothing short of a miracle.

He said: "Dogs can live without food for quite a while but he must have had a supply of water from somewhere."

Telegraph Group Limited
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON)
April 13, 2001

Rabbit-chasing dog trapped in coal bunker for 11 days

A PRIEST has been reunited with her five-year-old dog after it spent 11 days trapped in a coal bunker.

The Rev Angela Treweeks, 66, thought she would never see Jenny, her cairn terrier, again when it disappeared chasing rabbits.

She feared it was stuck in a rabbit hole and spent days searching the area surrounding her home in Pondicherry, Northumberland. She even looked in the bunker but the dog was buried in the coal and could not be seen. It was only when Mrs Treweeks's brother heard whining in the garden 11 days later that she knew Jenny was there.

She said: "It was like a bereavement. This little companion that has been with you suddenly disappears and naturally you fear the worst.

"But as soon as I heard the noise, I knew it was Jenny. She was jet black and very thin. I was elated and gave her a big hug."

Paul Freeman, a veterinary surgeon, said: "She came out remarkably well. She wasn't even dehydrated."


UK Newsquest Regional Press
December 08, 2000

Dog spends 3 weeks in rabbit warren

Border terrier Pru had a happy reunion with her owners after three weeks trapped in a rabbit warren.

Prudence could have done with a dose of caution as she headed off down the underground hole.

Robert and Jane Thomas had given up hope of ever finding Pru and her eight-year-old litter sister Daisy after they both vanished while out for a walk.

Mr Thomas, 74, a retired solicitor, searched with his wife for three hours in the pouring rain but they admitted defeat as darkness drew in.

Every day the couple searched the Downs near their home in Bishopstone, near Seaford, for the missing dogs.

They told friends and neighbours to look out for Pru and Daisy, employed a man with terriers to search the fields, checked vets and dogs' homes, but all to no avail.

They put posters up around their village and even offered a reward of GBP 3,000 after fearing the dogs had been stolen.

Then three weeks later, when almost all hope had gone, neighbour Anna Simpson was walking across fields when she heard a whimpering sound.

She dashed through the bushes and there she saw Pru's feeble face staring up at her.

Within seconds she used her hands to dig out the dog, who had spent 21 days trapped in the hole with just her nose poking out of the ground.

It is thought that the high rainfall had kept Pru alive as she managed to lap up water.

When Mr Thomas was told that Pru had been found safe and well he returned to the warren with a spade and began digging for Daisy. Unfortunately she was found dead in the underground tunnel.

Back at the family home, Pru is now recovering well, although she pines for her missing playmate.

Mr Thomas said: "Pru normally weighs about 14lb and I imagine that she went down to about 11lb. She was dehydrated and you could see all her bones.

"Pru rather relied on Daisy. She was the one in the past who would occasionally go down tunnels. They were devoted to each other and Pru really misses her."



Derby Evening Telegraph
December 6, 1999

Dog freed from hole

FIREFIGHTERS had to rescue a Jack Russell terrier which was stuck in a rabbit hole for more than 89 hours.

Six-year-old Lucy, whose owners, Theresa and Ralph Spurr, live in Vine Crescent, Sandiacre, went missing on Tuesday and was not found until her whimpers were heard by a passer-by at Stony Clouds on Saturday.

She had become wedged down a nine-inch wide hole and was stuck three feet underground. On Saturday, the firefighters had to battle rain, wind and sleet as they dug the terrified terrier out of the hole.

Sub-officer Ray Dring said: "Our main fear was that the hole would collapse and suffocate her. After about 45 minutes, we saw a snout poking out. Once her head was free, she helped us by wriggling around."


The Evening Standard (London)
October 16, 2003

Pet dog rescued after three days trapped underground

A PET dog has been rescued after spending three days trapped six feet underground. The Lakeland terrier, called Suzie, had chased a rabbit into a drainage pipe beneath a field in Little Bloxwich, near Walsall. She was reunited with her owner Stacey Bell yesterday when a mechanical digger was used to create a trench through which local rescuers could reach her.


Bristol Evening Post
September 13, 2001

Six hour drain pipe ordeal

OWNER Sheila Hill gives Bobby the Norfolk terrier a special hug after his six -hour rescue ordeal.

He became wedged in a nine-inch drain pipe when she took the ten-year-old terrier on a walk in Eastville Park.

Firefighters spent more than six hours using digging equipment and miniature cameras to locate and release the trapped dog.

He was taken to the RSPCA clinic for a check before being taken home.

Mrs Hill, of River View, Stapleton, praised Avon Fire Brigade for saving Bobby, whom she picked up from a dogs' home five years ago.

She said: "He's fine now but I just want to thank everyone who took part.

Without them Bobby would definitely not be here now.

"The pipe was at the edge of the lake and I think he smelled a rat and went
to investigate.

"This is the third time he has had to be rescued by the fire brigade. Five years ago he chased a fox into a hole and had to be dug out. I shall definitely be keeping him on a lead now."

Some of the firefighters even recognised her from the last time he got stuck.

Mrs Hill said that Bobby always went for walks with his best friend Todd, a 13year-old fox terrier, who waited for him throughout the rescue ordeal.

"They are such good friends. They are both from the animal shelter and Todd came along when we chose Bobby."


Wellington Newspapers Limited
The Dominion (Wellington)
January 27, 1999

Wonder dog

Tui, a seven-year-old fox terrier, is being hailed as a wonder dog after surviving 25 days trapped in a rabbit hole near Te Anau. The little dog disappeared while chasing rabbits during a walk with owner Linda Searell on December 30. Long after being given up for dead, Tui was found underground by another dog, her nose poking out of the hole. Te Anau vet Linda Pawsey was amazed at Tui's survival story. "It's a miracle. I have never seen a dog survive without food or water for such a long period."




DAILY MAIL (London)
December 28, 1995

Lost in the labyrinth; A four-legged friend saves terrier trapped underground

TRAPPED in a maze of drainage tunnels, it seemed that Rosie the runaway terrier had gone on one adventure too many.

She was lost where no human could venture. But a combination of a canine rescuer and high technology brought joy to Rosie's owner.

The four-year-old black and white fell terrier had become stuck in the vast underground network after she dashed off from her owner Margaret Everett to chase a rabbit or fox during a family walk on Christmas afternoon.

She was saved 27 frantic hours later by a second terrier which was sent down the 9in drain with an electronic tracking device fitted around his neck.

Rescuers believe Rosie came up against some form of obstruction and was unable to back out of the concrete pipe, which stretches 800 yards under a field.

Post office counter clerk Mrs Everett and her relatives spent an hour calling in vain for the lost pet. They returned to the spot near her home in Dedham, near Colchester, every hour without success.

Finally, in desperation, Mrs Everett, 42, contacted the Fell and Moorland Working Terriers Club, which specialises in rescuing trapped dogs.

Club members Dave Smith and Dale Bullen fitted a electronic device to the collar of Mr Bullen's five-year-old Lakeland terrier, Vic, and sent him down the drain after Rosie.

They used a radio receiver to track the dog's progress on his underground rescue mission until he came to a halt 400 yards along the pipe.

The rescue team then spent nearly three hours digging into the frozen earth to uncover the pipe six-and-a-half feet below.

They smashed the pipe with an axe, allowing the two dogs to scamper out into the daylight.

Mrs Everett said: 'Rosie was a bit sheepish, but very pleased to see everyone.

'Losing her totally spoilt Christmas Day. I was frantic with worry and was convinced she would starve to death trapped in the darkness.

'She had lost a bit of weight, but otherwise the only thing wrong with her was a dirty nose. When we got her home we gave her a huge meal and a new collar for Christmas.'

Jobless builder Mr Smith, 32, uses his location device to track his dogs underground while hunting foxes.

He said: 'The radio receiver can pick up a signal 15 ft underground. Rosie was growling at something in the pipe when we reached her, but we couldn't see what it was. We were glad to be able to help.'