Miracle mutt pulled from raging river by SPCA rescuers wielding a laundry basket

2014-03-11 00:00

THEY’VE called the mutt “Miracle”.

And her name certainly does justice to the circumstances that ensured she was given a second chance at life.

An ingenious plan by Umgeni SPCA staff saved the life of an eight-month-old Jack Russell pup who found herself precariously stranded on a rock in the middle of a rushing, swollen river.

Umgeni SPCA spokesperson Dudu Abraham said yesterday they had been alerted to the pooch’s plight on Saturday after sightseers stopped on the bridge below Midmar Dam to look at the swiftly flowing Umgeni River.

The sightseers saw the dog stranded on a rock near the bridge, with the river flowing strongly on either side.

“I wondered how we were going to rescue the dog, but eventually we decided on trying to scoop her off the rock in a laundry basket attached to a rope from the nearby bridge,” said Abraham.

She said their rescue efforts attracted a crowd of onlookers.

“The dog was so hyped and we were scared she would jump out of the basket if we even managed to get her into it. If she had been swept away by the river, she would have drowned. It took 15 minutes and on the fourth attempt we finally got her in the basket and off the rock to safety.” She said the dog panicked a bit as they scooped her up, but had stayed inside the basket as they hoisted her to safety.

Abraham said the Jack Russell was sopping wet and in shock when her three rescuers finally got her safely onto dry land. She said it is assumed the dog fell at some stage as she has a bruise on her head.

“We were so happy to get her that the three of us stood and hugged each other.”

The dog recovered so well that initially “the ungrateful thing wanted to bite us”, said Abraham laughing.

But when Miracle regained her composure, she proved to have a lovely, friendly nature.

“She is absolutely sweet. She wags her tail non-stop.”

Abraham said she had returned to the spot where the dog was rescued yesterday to find the rock it was perched on submerged.

“She definitely would have drowned if we hadn’t been alerted to her plight and gone to rescue her.”

If Miracle is not claimed, she will be re-homed, said Abraham.

“If she is claimed, we will look closely at her home environment. There are questions to be answered. She will also be sterilised before any release takes place.”

In the meanwhile, Miracle has wormed her way into the hearts of the SPCA staff.

Late yesterday, Abraham said, “She is still a bit nervous so I have been spending time with her; she loves crunchies!”

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