Manhole drama for pet pooch

Edna Bracewell and adventurous dog Iffi back at home in Cabus.
Edna Bracewell and adventurous dog Iffi back at home in Cabus.

A pet dog has been reunited with its owners – after surviving nearly three days underground in a drain.

Iffi, a King Charles Spaniel/Parson’s Jack Russell cross, had an adventure and a half when he disappeared from the far side of Garstang’s Millennium Green.

He was only discovered in a land drain under the Garstang Showfield after a passer-by heard him yelping.

His distraught owners, Edna and Michael Bracewell, from Burlingham Park, Cabus, had put up posters offering a £250 reward for the two-year-old pet’s return with the headline ‘Stolen from the Millennium Green.’

They searched locally and even travelled up to Cumbria, fearing their pet had been stolen and taken out of the county.

But with no trail to follow, they returned to the Millennium Green two days after his disappearance and continued looking.

Edna, a retired nurse, said: “It’s quite a little miracle really. We were devastated – we cried for three days. I thought he had been stolen because he suddenly disappeared, and a person sitting nearby also disappeared. I put two and two together and got it wrong.”

It is now thought Iffi was playing near the river and chased a rabbit or rat into a large drain, following a route which eventually took him through a maze of drains, under a main road and under Garstang Showfield.

A couple passing nearby alerted Iffi’s owners’ attention after the wife heard sounds of squealing and yapping coming from a manhole from below ground.

The walker was able to ease her hand down a gap by the side of the drain and grabbed Iffi’s collar.

Edna, alerted by the woman’s husband, then raced over and clipped his lead on. More people came to help to lift the drain cover up enough for them to lift the much-loved pet out.

The Good Samaritan couple waived their right to a reward.

Iffi was badly dehydrated and had lost a lot of weight, but once back home he had plenty to drink and was able to wolf down a steak supper.

Now they’re taking no chances and keeping Iffi firmly on an extendable lead.

Edna added: “We were searching until 10pm and up until 4am in the morning. I want to thank everyone for their concern and help in searching for him.”

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