A PREGNANT pooch is breathing a sigh of relief after getting herself in a sticky situation.
Tissy the Staffordshire bull terrier was rescued by firefighters after getting her head stuck in the garden gate.
Her owner, Kay Pillans, of Watson Terrace, Boldon Colliery, was shocked to find her pet in need of help on Tuesday morning.
The 50-year-old social worker said: “I was upstairs ironing and heard her puffing and panting, so I ran downstairs thinking she was having her puppies – she was due to have them last Wednesday.
“But then I found her in the garden with her head stuck in the gate and I just panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve got no idea how she managed to get her head stuck in there.
“There was a man walking along the bank and I shouted for him to come and help me.
“I had to call the fire brigade to come and free her.
“I felt awful because I felt like I was wasting their time, but they were lovely with her.”
Mrs Pillans got Tissy, who is about four, from West Hall Kennels, in Cleadon, in January.
She already had another dog, Spike, who she also rescued two years ago. He had been used as a fighting dog before being taken in at West Hall.
The mum of three said: “I was told I might have trouble with Spike because of the way he had been treated, but he just walked straight in the house, jumped up on the bed and went to sleep.
“I decided to adopt another dog and that’s when I got Tissy. They said she couldn’t have puppies any more, but then she fell pregnant.
“She’s such a lovely dog and she was really brave when the firefighters were cutting her free. She didn’t even move.
“Someone said I should put her lead on in case she tried to bite someone so I could pull her back, but she was fine.
“I just stroked her to keep her comfortable.”
Firefighters used hydraulic cutting gear to free Tissy.