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Puppy in a hay stack

Added: (Fri Apr 06 2001)


At 1140 hours on Friday April 6th the Brigade were called to a report of a puppy trapped under approximately 300 bales of hay at a farm near Rusper, West Sussex.

A Horsham fire appliance was sent to rescue the animal and accompanied by a specialist off-road vehicle with disinfectant as part of the Brigade's emergency decontamination procedures during the current foot and mouth epidemic.

The Horsham crew were quickly able to confirm that Annabelle the puppy was still alive and identified her exact location beneath the bales. There was no visible sign, but the firefighters could hear the puppy and were able to touch its head by putting an arm through a small hole.

It was not possible to move the bales in the haystack above her because of the risk of crushing the puppy so the officer in charge ordered two firefighters to begin carefully cutting away at the bale immediately above the puppy's head.

Sub Officer Gary Towson said "it was a relatively slow process but once we were able to put a hand over the puppy's face to reassure her she did not seem in distress. Using hand saws to loosen the tightly packed bales we were able to carefully pull away hay from around the puppy's face and body, creating a space just big enough to ease her out."

The whole operation took about 1 hour and the animal appeared to have suffered no ill effects and was soon running around and posing for photographs with her rescuers.

Sub Officer Towson added, "we never did find that needle."

Pictures are available on the Brigade Website at


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Many Thanks

Paul Archer
Web Technology/Publicity & Media
Performance & Audit Command
West Sussex Fire Brigade

07939-215-283 24hr
01403-257760/Office 01403-213271

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