A dog trapped underground for 60 agonizing hours yearns for a simple belly rub, a symbol of comfort and connection.


Winston the dog was certainly showered with affection – and presumably a lot of doggy shampoo – after he was stuck in mud for nearly three days.

The pet plummeted down a badger sett in the Diamond Jubilee Wood, in Leicestershire, on Saturday after he clearly bit off more than he could chew.

His untimely descent came as he was out enjoying a walk with his owner Helen Peake.

The hole had been almost entirely hidden by a holly bush.


Heather raised the alarm but Winston’s rescue proved difficult, as badger setts are heavily protected by law.
She reached out to various authorities in vain until good news came this Tuesday when fire crews began work with the RSPCA to save the trapped spaniel.

Firefighters used specialist equipment to reach Winston and listened to his muffled barks to pinpoint exactly where to dig.

They also used specialist listening and locating devices to find him, and fire crews then called in reinforcements to help with the digging.


The rescue had to be carried out slowly to avoid the sett collapsing in on the trapped dog.

Weary Winston was handed to RSPCA officers for a health check and was reunited, most importantly, with his delighted owner.

He immediately rolled onto his back for a belly rub once he was returned to his number one human.


Posting on Facebook, Helen wrote: ‘It’s been the weekend/early week from hell but oh well he’s safe and sound back with us and that’s all we care about.’

The crews reported no other animals were found at the scene, suggesting the badger den is inactive.

Winston isn’t the only spaniel with a penance for adventure this year.


Reggie, just 11 months old, tumbled down a 22ft crevice on a mountain in Wales in January.

Rescue teams worked late into the night to save the dog with ropes and specialist equipment.

Owner Leah Davies described her brave pup as a ‘true little warrior’ following the ordeal.


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