NINE one-day-old puppies had to be rescued from a badger's sett after getting stuck. It took firemen three hours to dig out the border collie puppies and their mum Rani, four, from the sett on Tuesday (September 23) just after 1pm. Rani had crawled down the sett to give birth to her pups on Monday night, and owner Kelly Shafique, 71, became concerned when her heavily-pregnant pet failed to return home. Great-grandmother Kelly, who runs Razda Kennels in Dunkirk Drove, Somersham, said: ''I could not find Rani and the night before my other dogs were sniffing around this hole when I let them out. ''I poked a broom handle down to check Rani was there and sure enough I could hear the pups mewling.'' Mrs Shafique was worried the pups could drown if the sett flooded during heavy rain, or that Rani would refuse to come out until the pups had grown much bigger. She said: ''Border collies are very intelligent, so I knew Rani had only gone down there because she felt comfortable. ''But she would probably stay down there with the puppies until they were about six weeks old. ''The puppies need food, warmth, and they need to socialise. Otherwise they'd turn out like little wolves.'' Mrs Shafique described the puppies as being ''fat, healthy and happy.'' Watch manager Steve Carrier said: ''We liased with the RSPCA throughout the rescue to ensure a minimal amount of damage was caused to the badger's sett. ''We were delighted to be able rescue all the pups, and that they were unscathed and not in too much distress after their ordeal.''