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Firefighters save puppy from drowning at Waterfoot
A PUPPY was saved from drowning by firefighters in a 30 minute river rescue.
Officers from Rawtenstall Fire Station were called to the River Irwell at Waterfoot after passers-by heard a dog whimpering from the bridge on Bridge Street.
When they arrived firefighters could see a female, black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier desperately trying to swim against the current.
To rescue the dog, officers lowered a ladder from the bridge into the water and two firefighters in waterproof clothing entered the river.
The dog was initially scared and tried to get away from them but they managed to block its path and pull it from the water.
Fire crews received the call shortly after 9am yesterday.
Firefighter Richard Horrocks said: “When we pulled the dog out of the water it was clearly very cold and very tired. It was a lovely little thing.
“It was really lucky it had been spotted when it was.
“The water was very cold and it clearly was unable to get out of the river itself.
“However, we couldn’t return it to its owner because it was wearing no collar and it hadn’t been micro-chipped. We called the RSPCA but they wouldn’t attend because the dog was not hurt.
“We eventually handed the dog over to the dog warden who will look after it for a week before trying to find it a new home.”
The dog was found close to the scene where the body of 76-year-old former electrician John Sutcliffe was found in September 2011.
He was found by teenagers lying on rocks after falling into the river on his way home from Waterfoot Social Club.