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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters Rescue Trapped Dog

Owner Richard Portman and Poppy

Firefighters from Barton-under-Needwood have rescued a dog which had been trapped down a rabbit hole for almost 48 hours.

"I am really thankful to the crew from Barton-under-Needwood for their commitment and belief."

Dog owner, Richard Portman

The call came in at 7.55pm on Monday evening reporting that a dog was trapped in a hole and had been there for 24 hours. The dog, a four year old Jack Russell, could be heard underground in a field opposite Efflinch Lane in Barton-under-Needwood and firefighters were called out to try and rescue the pet.

On arrival, crews were unable to establish whether the hole was part of a badger set and so put a call into The Badger Trust. Crews returned to station at 9.30pm after being told they would not be able to attempt digging until the following day when it would be confirmed if it was a badger set.

At 10.30am yesterday, crews from Barton-under-Needwood received confirmation that the hole was a rabbit hole and not a badger set and so returned to the scene to attempt to retrieve the dog.

Shovels were used to initially try to dig out the dog however she was too far underground to reach and the Urban Search and Rescue Team from West Midlands were called in so optical cameras could be used to locate the position of the dog.

At 2.20pm, the dog had been located via the cameras and crews commenced digging to rescue the animal. The dog, named Poppy, was then reunited with very relieved owner Richard Portman: "Poppy got herself stuck in the hole whilst we were out walking at about 3.00pm on Sunday. I tried several times to entice her out with food and toys but she was too far into the hole by then.

"I am really thankful to the crew from Barton-under-Needwood for their commitment and belief."

Paul Cullen, Assistant Area Commander for East Staffordshire said: “The Urban Search and Rescue team used ultra sound equipment and cameras which were inserted into the ground to locate Poppy, who was released shortly afterwards.

"She had managed to get 12 feet away from the original hole she had entered and was very frightened when we got her out. She was reunited with her owner straight away and seemed very pleased to see him!"

Crews left the scene at 3.15pm.