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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 20:30 GMT 21:30 UK
Marathon rescue operation for dog
Richard Watkin with his Jack Russell terrier Ben
Ben is back safely in the arms of his owner Richard Watkin
A Jack Russell terrier which disappeared down a rabbit hole in a cemetery has been found alive after a 15-hour rescue operation.

Richard Watkin hired a digger and a thermal image camera was used in the hunt for Ben.

Owner and pet were finally reunited on Thursday, after part of a Swansea Valley graveyard was excavated.

RSPCA officers and firefighters joined in the rescue at Alltygrug, near Ystalyfera.

Mr Watkin said he was "over the moon" after seeing Ben again.

"He's always up to mischief, always going down holes, always catching God knows what," he said.

"The missus, well, she loves the dog more than me," he added.

"I was a bit worried for a bit, he stopped baying and I thought he might have suffocated but we kept on digging and had him in the end."

Mr Watkin was joined in his mission by friends who helped to dig into the ground around the hole after hearing a bark.

"I'm over the moon now I've had him back"

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