Lucky break as plucky pet res­cued

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.”

Pic­ture: Martin Newcombe

Fire­fight­ers start dig­ging up the badgers’ sett

PD1659803

Lucky with own­ers Keith and Sue Wil­liamson, safe af­ter his or­deal

Pic­ture: Martin Newcombe

Down we go

Pic­ture: Martin Newcombe

Sue Wil­liamson is re­united with Lucky

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