Firefighters save the day after dog gets stuck underground in rabbit warren


- Credit: Archant

Fire crews were called to rescue a Jack Russell that had become trapped after running into a rabbit warren.

Crews from Huntingdon and St Neots were called shortly before 6pm by the RSPCA to The Common, in River Road, Eaton Ford, after reports that the dog had been stuck underground for more than 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 the dog, named 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.”

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,” added Mr Robinson.

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.

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Mr 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.

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