Dramatic rescue sees dog saved after eight hours stuck down hole on Hackney Marshes
PUBLISHED: 09:17 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:54 23 January 2019
A family have been reunited with their beloved dog Olive after she got stuck down a fox hole on Hackney Marshes for eight hours and had to be rescued by firefighters and a plumber.
Robert Mendick was walking the five-year-old Patterdale terrier on the morning of January 2 when she ran down the hole. After a while, he began to panic.
“I watched it happen in slow motion. I thought she would pop out but nothing happened. I was getting a bit frantic and in the end I called the RSPCA, who called the London Fire Brigade.”
A second crew was called with specialist equipment but it didn’t work so drainage company Dyno-Rod were called and sent someone else.
“He was a lovely chap named Jamie,” said Robert. “And he was absolutely brilliant, all these people were absolutely brilliant. He put his camera down but couldn’t get it round enough of the bend. He said: ‘We’re going to have to dig’.”
Firefighters declared it a rescue operation and the digging began. Half-an-hour later, Jamie put his camera down a new hole and declared: “Crikey, you can see her and she’s still alive.”
Olive had gone down the hole just before 8am and wasn’t rescued until 4pm. “You could hear her for the first two hours and then we heard nothing again,” said Robert. “But the RSPCA inspected her and presented the dog alive and well, but with a lot of injuries. She’s not out of the woods yet but she is getting better at home. A chunk of her lip is missing where she was attacked but she is a darn sight better than she was.”
With a bit of TLC from Robert’s three children Matilda, 17, Scarlett, 15 and Dilys, 11, he hopes she will recover fully.
Experts at Wanstead Veterinary Hospital, who Robert has also praised for their amazing treatment, were not sure what animal had attacked Olive. They think it may have been a badger, though they have not been seen on the marshes before. Others said it can’t have been, because if it was a badger Olive would be dead.
“They are very vicious,” added Robert. “It could have been a baby badger and Olive could have fought it off, because she’s vicious too.”