Dog rescue - Eaton Ford - Huntingdonshire

Crews from Huntingdon and St Neots were called out to help rescue a dog that had got stuck in underground rabbit warrens on The Common in River Road.

Firefighters were called by the RSPCA after the dog, a Jack Russell mix called Poppy, had been stuck underground for over an hour.  

Using an underground camera on a long cable, together with thermal imaging equipment and shovels, eight firefighters spent nearly two hours trying to locate Poppy and were helped by three members of a passing family.

Watch Commander Rob Robinson said: “The owner had been trying to coax the dog out for over an hour so by the time we got there she was in quite a bit of distress.”

He said firefighters covered an area, about 50 metres by 50 metres, moving from hole to hole, shouting then listening to try and locate the area where Poppy was.

“Poppy’s the kind of breed that likes to follow rabbits down a hole but once you get underground the holes branch out and very soon you are two or three feet down.”

Firefighters spent about forty five minutes digging around the rabbit holes to make them bigger before inserting the underground camera on the end of a long cable.

WC Robinson said: “It was pitch black, hammering down with rain and really cold. Everybody would find a hole, shout, then be dead quiet and listen. You could hear the dog whimpering, you could tell it was distressed.

“It took a lot of people and some co-ordination to dig in the right area because we had to dig a bit, listen, eliminate the area and move along.”

During the rescue, crews pumped oxygen down the rabbit holes to help Poppy breathe.

She was located and helped out of a hole nearly two hours later.

Once Poppy was rescued, crews helped clean her up, gave her a few squirts of oxygen, and put her back on her lead.

WC Robinson said Poppy didn’t have any injuries and was fine once she was reunited with her owner.