Stricken spaniel rescued by volunteers including a local drainage company after firefighters were unable to reach him.
Reggie, then an 11-month-old spaniel, was on a walk with Leah Davies – the sister of his owner Dayne Davies – when he started sniffing a gap in the path. Suddenly he slipped and fell down a crevice at least 10ft deep at Llwynypia Mountain in the Clydach forest in Wales last January.
“The next minute his bum was up in the air and he was down the hole,” Leah said. “He fell off the lip, fell down and we couldn’t see him.”
She called Dayne and then the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service who arrived to help but told Leah that there was nothing they could do because of the complexity of the hole. They said they would try and come back the next day with more specialised equipment.
After failed attempts to rescue Reggie by manoeuvring down the hole to chip away at the ground, the decision was made to leave him overnight, with food being thrown down the gap.
“I was absolutely traumatised, I couldn’t sleep that night I went home. Hearing him panting was awful, it was terrible,” Leah said.
In desperation, she took to social media, and the local community rallied round Leah and Dayne bringing food and supplies to keep Reggie and the team going including local takeaway the Chip Stop, who sent down free portions of fish and chips. Leah said: “I was absolutely petrified and felt so helpless because I couldn’t do anything for him. He was whimpering, crying and very vocal.”
Drainage engineers Harry Booton and Neil Wilson were among those who were alerted to her post and raced to the scene to assist. They brought camera equipment, which meant they were able to see Reggie for the first time since his fall.
With extra help from other volunteers, including Neil Black who brought specialist ropes, they were able to reach Reggie and lift him to safety 34 hours after he got stuck.
Leah added that volunteer Phil Andriola was instrumental in the rescue and was the “brains of the operation”, explaining how to loop the ropes carefully around Reggie to drag him out.
“When he emerged, everyone was shouting ‘he’s out, he’s out!'” Leah said. “If it wasn’t for the Drainforce guys we wouldn’t have got him out. A massive thanks to Harry and Neil.”
Following Reggie’s ordeal, Dayne said Reggie was “absolutely exhausted” but quickly recovered. “He was so excited and happy to see us after his ordeal.”