On Thursday 8th March 2012, members of the Coastguard team at South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade had their work cut out when a Bracco Italiano puppy fell a staggering 50ft from a cliff edge. The tragedy occurred when the seven-month-old bitch slipped and fell during a walk with her owner. Despite the steep drop, the puppy escaped with minor cuts after the rescue team retrieved her from the rocks and returned her to her owner.
The rescue operation lasted a gruelling 45 minutes, but the outcome was positive when the puppy was lifted up the cliff edge on a rope with no severe injuries. The startled, yet relieved owner of the dog did not want to be named, but he stated that he would be taking the Bracco Italiano puppy to a nearby vet, to ensure that the cuts on her mouth could be treated appropriately.
Neil Peddieson, an officer from the Sunderland Coastguard team, said that the task to entice the puppy into their care was rather troublesome:
“I could see her at the bottom of the cliff having a wander about. She took a little bit of persuasion to get into the specialist bag. It really is a surprise that she was not more seriously injured.”
Mr Mearns, another member of the Coastguard team, discussed how they receive more than 20 phone calls annually relating to dogs falling over cliff edges. The Bracco Italiano puppy was not wearing a safety lead during the walk, which resulted in her falling after chasing a bird, proving just how essential it is to ensure dogs are wearing a lead constantly.