River drama as woman rescues missing dog
VIDEO footage captured the incredible moment a woman waded through a river to reach her small dog who had been missing for four days.
Little brown Dachshund Violet was out on one of her regular walks around Reddish Vale country park with dog walker Madeleine when she suddenly walked off and disappeared. Distraught owner Alifiya Mohamedbhai was then targeted by a vile scammer who falsely claimed to have Violet and threatened to kill her if she didn’t hand over £250.
But as she started to lose hope after days of searching, the mum spotted her ‘baby’ hunched over in the river’s embankment with her tail still wagging. Alifiya, 33, said: “It’s incredible. There isn’t a mark on her apart from a sore ear and paw. It is insane.
“She is such a quiet dog and was out on the same walk that she does every day, and has done for two-and-a-half years with my dog walker and best friend. Nobody knows what spooked her or what happened - she doesn’t wander off to explore and always walks by your feet, but she must’ve turned and just walked off the other way.”
Mum-of-one Alifiya, from Burnage, said she remained calm at first, confident that the Apple AirTag fitted to Violet’s collar would help reunite them. But, she said the battery began to slowly die, before the location stopped showing altogether.
“We had no idea where she was. We spent eight hours looking for her and there were no sightings. Reddish Vale is huge, so she could’ve been anywhere,” she added.
Urgent appeals were shared across social media, where Alifiya described Violet as not just a dog - but her ‘baby.’ The posts were shared far and wide, with the support of Greater Manchester Lost Dog Search & Rescue Capture Team who also installed thermal cameras nearby and outside Alifiya’s home on January 27.
But the following day, Alifiya said she got a disturbing call from a scammer pretending to have her dog and threatening to kill her if she didn’t hand over £250. It has since been reported to the police after they arranged to meet but nobody turned up.
“I had a call from a number telling me they had my dog, and when I told them she was spayed they said they didn’t want her anymore, but couldn’t have her back and that we needed to pay. I had to sit in the bathroom for an one hour and 40 minutes because he wanted to hear the extractor fan, and told me he would kill her if I didn’t,” she recalled.
“Police told me it had been a scam call and that the number and bank account was registered in Leicester. I was in such a vulnerable position and almost broke down.”
With each passing day, Alifiya and her friends, including dog walker Madeleine, went out to search through Reddish Vale - but she was slowly beginning to lose hope, and had even been sent information about pet bereavement counselling.
But on Tuesday morning, a ‘miracle’ happened. As Alifiyah walked along the River Tame, her phone began to buzz. Her bluetooth had activated the tag on Violet’s collar - and she was close.
It was then that they spotted the little Dachshund sat, tail wagging, in a small cove in the embankment. Without hesitation, Alifiyah jumped in and waded through the water to get her. It was captured on a video that has been shared thousands of times.
She added: “The phone kept pinging and pinging and the Bluetooth kicked in. As we walked closer it said we were 80ft away, then 70ft away and was counting down. Then we saw her just wagging her tail and jumping up and down. It was crazy and it was like nothing had happened.
“I didn’t even stop to think how deep it was, I just got in the water and ran across. She was crying and jumping. Violet is not just domesticated - she is pampered and won’t even go out for a wee when it’s raining, so to be out in the cold and be fine, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle.
“I really had been starting to lose hope. I wish I could see her memory of the last couple of days, find out what she was up to and know what spooked her.”
The heartwarming clip of Alifiyah clutching onto Violet as she walks back through the river, has since been liked and shared thousands of times on social media.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “The crime was reported to us and is being investigated by our City of Manchester district as that’s where the victim lives.”