Lucky break as plucky pet rescued
A DOG called Lucky lived up to his name when he was rescued on Christmas Eve after being stuck in a badgers’ sett for nearly a week.
Firefighters spent five hours trying to dig the 12year-old Lakeland-Patterdale cross out of the hole in woodland near the William Harvey Hospital.
Lucky disappeared on December 18 while being taken for a walk by Gladstone Road resident Keith Williamson.
His wife Sue said: “My husband took his eyes off Lucky for a second and he was gone. We searched for two days but had no joy until someone from the East Kent Badger Group heard about it and suggested that as a former working dog, maybe he had gone into one of the badgers’ setts in the area.
“We searched again on Wednesday and amazingly heard Lucky barking but it was terrible because we then had to leave him overnight until it got light, and that’s when the firefighters arrived.”
The five-hour rescue began at 9am with crews from Ashford and Larkfield sent in with specialist back-up from the Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR).
Larkfield fire station manager Colin King said: “The USAR crew used its snake-eye camera and listening device to locate the dog while the Larkfield fire- fighters, who are trained in using chainsaws, cut down some trees to make the area safe. The Ashford crew then dug down to rescue the dog. Lucky is a very appropriate name.”
Lucky was taken to a vet and found to be suffering from dehydration and a serious eye infection which required an operation to remove his eye.
East Kent Badger Group’s Martin Newcombe helped the couple locate Lucky.
He said: “Finding Lucky in the first place was a difficult job but once we had I knew that we needed the fire and rescue service as it would have taken days for us to dig her out whereas they’ve got the tools and experience and are used to doing it quickly.”
His owners have done nothing but make a fuss of Lucky since his return on Sunday.
Mrs Williamson added: “He has made a fantastic recovery considering the trauma he underwent and it is thanks to the fantastic firefighters who worked solidly for several hours. He had to stay at the Maidstone veterinary hospital and sadly had to have an eye removed.
“He’s had lots of his favourite treats which are Korker sausages. I hide his antibiotics in them. My husband hasn’t stopped making a fuss of him since he got home.”
Firefighters start digging up the badgers’ sett
Lucky with owners Keith and Sue Williamson, safe after his ordeal
Down we go
Sue Williamson is reunited with Lucky