Dog freed after five days trapped 20ft underground in Cork

A Staffordshire bull terrier has been rescued after spending five nights trapped in a storm drain.

The petite dog, named Irek, became stuck in a hole about 20ft underground in Ballincollig, Co Cork, early last week.

Irek was severely dehydrated as well as bruised and terrified, by the time it was eventually freed on Saturday after the five-day ordeal.

Dog freed after five days trapped 20ft underground in Cork

The rescue was a joint effort between the Munster Lost and Found Pet helpline and the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Elly O’Shea, from the helpline group, said: “We are just so delighted that poor Irek is back with his owners, he is still scared to go outside but at least he’s alive and well.”

Two schoolboys discovered the trapped dog and raised the alarm. A local woman later contacted the helpline which had received a report about the missing dog on Tuesday last.

Ms O’Shea contacted ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan, who arrived at the scene. Ms O’Donovan was lowered into the hole where she was able to attach a harness to Irek and complete the rescue.

The dog was later reunited with his owners and was reported to be recovering well physically, although still very frightened.

The pet helpline charity has been operating for six years, and uses its Facebook page to link up owners with their lost pets.

Since July, it has reunited 142 dogs and cats with their owners and anyone who has lost or found a pet should post details to the site.

It also operates an animal shelter, based in Ballinhassig, Co Cork, for abandoned pets. Volunteers are central in the running of the shelter and the costs include vaccinating and spaying of pets as well as housing and feeding them.

The shelter is currently operating at full capacity and is financed through fundraising efforts and a grant from the Department of Agriculture.

Ms O’Shea said: “We couldn’t do our work without the fantastic fundraising efforts of our volunteers. We have people run marathons for us, we have dog shows and people make beautiful pet accessories for us to sell.”


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