Firefighters rescue puppy and cow

By Steve Peacock in Emergency Services

A 14-week-old puppy was rescued from the River Dart in the nick of time after he fell from the bank and became trapped in the mud.

Only the puppy’s head was above water when firefighters managed to haul him out of the river near the mouth of the Mill Tail beside Vire Island in Totnes.

The lurcher Labrador cross was walking with his owner on Vire Island when he ran off the edge of the island and fell 8ft onto the mud at around 5.30pm last Wednes­day.

The incoming tide, coupled with flood water from heavy rain, meant the water was rising rapidly as firefighters from Totnes turned up to rescue the animal.

Both the fire crew and the Camels Head specialist rescue team were mobilised to the incident.

Totnes Watch Commander Paul Chambers said: “He was certainly stuck and the tide was coming in fast.

“All you could see was his head sticking up above the water.”

He said the firefighters, wearing dry suits, managed to get to the puppy, haul him out of the mud and hand him back to his anxious owners – who took him to a vet to get him checked over.

l Firefighters from Totnes were also called out to help rescue a cow stuck in a River Dart mud bank, near Corn­worthy.

The crew, along with a specialist rescue vehicle from Camels Head, were sent to the scene at around 4pm on Friday last week near Longland Cross.

The animal was finally hauled to safety by a farmer using a tractor and ropes.

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