RSPCA, fire crews, water company and builders work together to free dog from drain

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The RSPCA, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, Yorkshire Water and a local construction company worked together for SIX HOURS to free a terrier stuck in an underground pipe in South Yorkshire this week.

The RSPCA helped rescue Jet
The RSPCA helped rescue Jet
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RSPCA inspector Joanne Hartley was called to an area off Wombwell Lane, in Barnsley, in the early hours of Thursday morning (20 April) by the worried owner of the 16-month-old Patterdale terrier.

Inspector Hartley said: “Jet had run into the drain pipe while out on a walk with his owner on Wednesday evening (19 April).

“His owner, Jamie, stayed with him, trying to call him out of the underground maze of pipes but had no luck.

“He called our emergency line shortly before 2am but we knew we wouldn’t be able to help until daylight so I went along first thing in the morning and called for the fire service’s assistance on my way.”

Jet was rescued from a drain
Jet was rescued from a drain
Click photo for larger image and details

The RSPCA inspector, a crew from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, Yorkshire Water and some workers from a local construction company all joined forces to try to free the stricken pooch.

“It was an absolute nightmare,” Inspector Hartley added. “The pipe was about 10ins wide and is part of the old brickworks site which is the size of around two or three football pitches.

“We could hear Jet barking and whimpering, but we had no idea where he was located in the pipes. And the piping runs around 4ft to 6ft underground so we had to dig around 10 trenches down to the pipe to see if we could reach him.”

Yorkshire Water arrived with a camera which was sent into the pipes and eventually located Jet around 90m away from where he entered. The little black terrier was eventually freed six hours after the search began, and almost 24 hours after he first went into the pipes.

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“It was a really great combined effort from everyone who was there and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped out,” Inspector Hartley added. “All the agencies involved were willing to work as long as it took to free Jet and I’m so glad we were able to release him safe and sound.”

Jet’s owner, Jamie Taylor, said: “Jet was really shaken at first but now he’s back to his usual self.

“I’m really thankful to everyone who worked so hard to make sure Jet was freed.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Matt Gillatt said: “This was an extremely challenging rescue which required a great deal of skill and problem solving by our crews, alongside help from various other agencies.

“Animal rescues are an established part of the fire service’s work that is highly valued by local people. Rescues performed by firefighters with specialist training and equipment also stop the public getting into danger by attempting rescues themselves.”

Ian Wilks, a senior sewer network technician at Yorkshire Water said: "Using an access point dug out by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, I was able to use a sewer inspection CCTV unit to locate Jet, the missing Patterdale terrier, approximately 90m downstream.

“He was trapped in a pipe which connected to a buried manhole chamber. Using the transmitter attached to the CCTV unit, I was able to mark the location of the buried chamber, approximately 1m below the surface.

“The manhole was then uncovered, giving the fire service and Inspector Hartley the access to retrieve Jet from the drain.

“It was an unusual afternoon's work, where everyone pitched in using their own area of expertise, which ended with the best result possible, Jet being returned safe and well to his grateful and relieved owner."