Pictures of dramatic rescue of pet dog stuck in drainage pipe for 40 hours
ALL those who helped rescue a dog stuck in a drainage tunnel for 40 hours have been nominated for an award by the RSPCA.
The animal charity has hailed the “amazing team effort” behind the lengthy operation that saw Martha, an English bull terrier, released from a culvert in Pudsey.
The two-year-old pet disappeared inside the drainage tunnel in Black Carr Woods, while out on a walk with her owner Paul Millicent at about 4.30pm on Friday, March 17.
Paul and his wife Susan spent most of the next two days in the woods anxiously waiting for news as the rescue operation progressed.
Martha was eventually brought to the surface at about 9.30am on Sunday - more than 40 hours later - after being located 20 metres down by thermal imaging.
She could only be reached by digging out using an excavator, which was operated through the night.
The bull terrier was left dehydrated, with just a few minor cuts and scratches and has been recovering at home since her ordeal.
Animal rescue officer Rebecca Goulding described it as “the longest and most complex operation” she had ever been involved in, adding: “It was heart-warming to see so many different organisations working together, totally focused on rescuing this little dog.”
Owner Paul described how it began, saying: “She just didn’t re-appear and what was supposed to be a three-mile, hour-long walk turned into a two-day rescue operation.
“I sat there and thought, what are we going to do? On Saturday morning I felt there was no hope but Rebecca started ringing around and it was her positivity and determination to get Martha home that lifted us and made things start to happen. We’re amazed by everyone’s efforts, it really does reaffirm your faith in humanity.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were unable to reach Martha on Friday night and the RSPCA attended the following morning, obtaining the go-ahead from the Council for digging to start.
With the help of Yorkshire Water and their thermal imaging cameras, Martha was successfully located about 15 metres down.
A local drainage firm then agreed to help, hiring an excavator to help bring the dog to safety.
Rebecca said that in the end Martha had moved further along the pipe and the excavator had to dig down about 20 metres to reach her.
She added: “It was a long and complex operation but no-one gave up, it was an amazing team effort.”
She thanked everyone involved in the rescue operation and the RSPCA has said it will be nominating them for an animal welfare award.