Double RESCUE POOCH survived 60ft fall

Pup survived 60ft fall

by take-a-break |
Updated on

Our pup had come out of her shell after we’d taken her in. But on a walk one day, disaster struck. By Karen Porter, 60

rescue puppy survives 60ft fall

The rescue centre volunteer led us through the kennels, stopping in front of an adorable cockapoo puppy.

‘She was rescued from an unethical breeder,’ they explained. ‘She’s had barely any human contact, so she’s very nervous.’

My husband Christopher and I were looking to adopt a new dog.

We had a history of taking on pups with difficult pasts. And the puppy’s beautiful brown eyes were melting my heart.

After a brief discussion, we decided to take her home with us.

‘She deserves a new start in life,’ I said.

We named her Betty and introduced her to our other dogs, Benson and Vera.

At first, she was so anxious we couldn’t even take her on walks. But after some gentle care, she slowly gained confidence.

Soon we were regularly off yomping round the hills near our home in Ilfracombe, Devon.

One morning, I headed out on our usual route with all three dogs.

Betty was bouncing around excitedly and a chance lurch jerked the lead from my hand.

'We'll have to ring the coastguard'

It startled her and before I could grab the lead, she’d sped off in a totally unfamiliar direction.

‘Betty!’ I called.

But she’d vanished.

I rushed after her with the other dogs, but Betty was nowhere to be seen.

I called Christopher and my son Harry, who both came to help me look.

After two hours of desperate searching, I’d almost given up hope. Then Benson began barking near the edge of a cliff.

Harry went over to fetch him and spotted something.

‘It’s Betty!’ he yelled and we raced over.

Peering over the cliff edge, we could see she’d fallen on to a ledge two metres down. Below her was a 60ft drop to the rocks and sea below.

I got on my knees and tried to call her to me, but it was too high for her to climb up.

Rescue dog survives 60ft fall

As her paws scrabbled uselessly on the rock I was terrified she’d slip and fall from the ledge.

‘We’ll have to ring the coastguard,’ I told Harry.

When they arrived, one said: ‘We’ll lower someone down to get her.’

‘Betty responds better to women,’ I explained and a young woman volunteered to do it.

We held our breath as she was lowered down. But Betty kept backing away, coming perilously close to the edge.

After several attempts, they decided to try using multiple ropes to fence Betty in.

By now, she’d been there almost four hours. The rain was coming down and mist shrouded the cliff-top.

‘This could take a while,’ they said. ‘Why don’t you take your other dogs home? You can have a shower and a cup of tea.’

Reluctantly, I agreed.

‘Don’t worry Betty!’ I called down to her. ‘You’ll be OK.’

I felt so guilty as I headed home. But just as I was sitting down to drink my tea, the phone rang.

‘She’s taken herself over the edge,’ one of the coastguards said.

rescue puppy survives 60ft fall

‘Oh my God!’ I gasped.

‘Don’t worry, she’s OK,’ he said. ‘The lifeboat crew can see her moving.’

Relief flooded through me, but I was terrified she’d been injured.

Abandoning my tea, I rushed to meet the lifeboat and one of the crew carried Betty over.

‘She’s hurt her lip, but I think otherwise she’s all right!’ he said.

‘Thanks so much,’ I replied.

I took her from him and buried my face in her fur.

‘I’m so glad you’re OK,’ I told her.

Betty had been trapped for six hours, and she was in shock and trembling.

We wrapped her up in a towel borrowed from a nearby café, then I took her straight to the vet.

‘I think her front leg is broken,’ he said. ‘I’ll need to do an X-ray.’

But he was astonished she’d even survived such a big drop.

‘Her fur is quite thick, which could have helped cushion the impact,’ he said.

‘She was booked for a haircut tomorrow!’ I told him.

The X-ray confirmed Betty’s leg was broken. After an operation to insert pins, her leg was put in a cast for six weeks.

But Betty recovered remarkably well.

‘She’s a little healing machine!’ joked the orthopaedic vet at our five-week follow-up appointment.

Her treatment cost over £5000, and I was glad to be insured.

Now Betty’s allowed to exercise again and she’s quickly regaining confidence.

We’re so grateful to the coastguard and the RNLI for saving her. That’s twice my gorgeous pooch has been rescued, but I’m planning to make sure her life’s a bit less dramatic from now on!

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