The owner of a plucky pooch has been praising her local firefighters after her two year-old pet dog needed rescuing from a drain-pipe on farmland near Canterbury, after getting stuck chasing a rabbit.
The dramatic rescue took place on farmland in Blean on Wednesday 5 April around 8pm.
Despite attempts by her owner to dig out Domino the Chihuahua-Jack Russell cross, they couldn’t reach her, so needed the help of firefighters.
No stranger to animals, Domino’s owner is Emily Firmin, the daughter of Peter Firmin - co-creator of children’s TV classic ‘Bagpuss’. Emily is the young girl who owned the saggy cloth cat in the programme.
She said: ‘The crew were amazing, I can’t thank them enough. We didn’t think we’d get her out of the pipe, but what they did was extensive and they were even able to pull the rabbit out too – you could call them magician firefighters’.
Crews tried to gently persuade the pooch out by calling her, but when that didn’t work firefighters had to dig out the pipe at the farmland in Blean, They then used a saw to create a big enough gap in the plastic pipe to see if they could reach Domino.
Canterbury Crew Manager, Lee Divers said: ‘When we arrived we had to try and gain access to the pipe at different places to be able to find Domino, so we created several trenches and cut away at the pipe, which was full of mud and silt. Once we’d created the holes, it helped give the rabbit the direction to escape and Domino followed.’
Domino and the rabbit travelled about 50 metres along the pipe. Eventually the pup and the rabbit both came out of the end of the pipe, which was an outlet to a pond. Both were a little subdued by the whole experience.
Lee added: ‘We saw a pair of eyes appear and thought it was Domino – then out hopped the rabbit. But Domino wasn’t far behind.’
Emily said: ‘I’ve got nothing but praise and thanks for the crews – they were absolutely brilliant. I’m now going to be extra careful with Domino – I know how quick she is at chasing rabbits, I’ll be keeping her on the lead from now on.’
Emily’s father Peter, who was on hand trying to help with the rescue, along with her partner Justin, remarked: ‘We realise the fire service don’t normally do animal rescues like this, so we’re entirely grateful and we’ve made a donation to the Fire Fighters Charity as our way of saying thank you.’
Kent Fire and Rescue Service works closely with the RSPCA in all animal rescues, and will always assess the risk to the owner should they try to rescue their pet. An officer will attend initially to assess and if required, should there be a potential risk to human life, a fire crew or KFRS’ Animal Rescue Unit will attend to rescue the animal.
In a fitting end to Domino’s tale, and in the style of a Bagpuss story: ‘Even Domino herself, once she was asleep, was just a lucky mucky pup. Muddy, and a bit naughty chasing rabbits, but Emily loved her.’