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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Fat dog survives 17 days in hole
A dog that spent more than a fortnight trapped in a badger sett in Cornwall has survived and made its own way home.

Sadie, a 15-month-old overweight terrier, got stuck after disappearing down a hole while out for a walk on moorland by her home near Penzance.

Her owner Caron Paynter had given up hope of finding Sadie when a neighbour woke her at 0500 BST to say the missing dog had returned home after 17 days.

Sadie had been wearing a muzzle and was unable to eat during her ordeal.

The dog had lost so much weight her head appeared larger than her body.
This is a remarkable story of survival
Les Sutton, RSPCA

She was also covered in fleas and ticks, but after being examined by a vet she was allowed home, where she immediately went to sleep.

Mrs Paynter, 40, of Trewellard, said she was "over the moon" to have Sadie back, and joked that the enforced diet while in the badger's sett had been good for her overweight dog.

She added: "The RSPCA man said he had had a case where a dog survived 11 days down a hole, so after that time I thought that was it."

RSPCA Inspector Paul Kempson, who helped to look for Sadie when she went missing, said: "Rescuing dogs that become trapped underground can be very difficult and dangerous, not only for the dog but also our inspectors.

Lucky dog

"Dealing with a distressed pet at the same time and possibly a badger creates quite a challenge.

"We continued to visit the site each day, but became increasingly concerned because the dog had a muzzle on and would be unable to feed."

RSPCA chief inspector Les Sutton added: "This is a remarkable story of survival.

"Usually dogs in these circumstances manage to get themselves free after four to six days. Sadie is a very lucky dog."

Terrier gets himself into a hole
19 Jun 05 |  Gloucestershire
Dog causes rumpus in badger sett
14 Aug 04 |  Hereford/Worcs
Terrier takes 60-mile train trip
18 Feb 04 |  North Yorkshire
Rescuers fail to reach puppy
07 Feb 04 |  England

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