Firefighters dig for three hours to rescue dog stuck down rabbit hole

HEROES: Firefighters Norman Younger and John McLachlan with Ben the dog.
HEROES: Firefighters Norman Younger and John McLachlan with Ben the dog.
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BEN the dog is lucky to be alive after firefighters dug down more than eight feet to rescue him from a rabbit warren.

Firefighters from the Rainton Bridge station spent around three hours digging the Corgi/terrier cross breed out of the ground after he became trapped while his owner was out hunting rabbits at the rear of School Road in East Rainton yesterday afternoon.

“The guy had been out rabbiting with his dog and it got stuck down a hole,” said watch manager Steve Robson.

Technology came to Ben’s aid, in the form of a transmitter attached to his collar, which allowed his owner to get a good idea of where the dog was trapped by the time the fire brigade arrived.

“Luckily, the dog had a locator collar on, which meant he could pinpoint its location to within a few metres, otherwise we would have been trying to dig the whole hillside out,” said Steve.

“He had located the dog to within a five metre radius, then we dug down eight to 10 feet to get to it,

“The dog was a three-year-old terrier/corgi cross – which was probably a little bit too fat to go down rabbit holes.”

Ben’s owner is believed to be from Sunderland but was visiting relatives in the area and had gone out hunting for rabbiting with a friend.

“He was out with a mate and another dog,” said Steve.

“He was very lucky to get the dog back, given how far down it was and how far into the hillside.

“If it had not had the locator collar on, he would have had no chance.