Dog rescued and reunited with owner after falling into water treatment plant gully

An inquisitive little dog followed his nose and fell into a 12ft-deep gully at a water treatment plant in County Durham.

Terrier Finlay was out walking with his owner, Deborah Rowley from Norton, when he disappeared off into the undergrowth following a noise and fell into a gully.

Deborah called the RSPCA for help after seven-year-old Finlay fell into the 12ft-deep gully at the water treatment plant at Portrack Marshes in Stockton-on-Tees on Saturday (26 March).

Rescuer Shane Lynn went to help; he said: “Deborah was really worried as Finlay had taken quite the fall and was stuck at the bottom of the wet, filthy gully and was unable to scramble out of the steep concrete walls.

“They’d been enjoying a walk when he chased after a noise and squeezed through a gap in the fence into the sewage works and fell in the gully. Luckily I was able to gain access to the site, climb down my ladder into the gully and catch him. I put him the restraint bag we use for seals to ensure he was safe and couldn’t fall and clambered back out with him.

“Deborah was very grateful and relieved to have him back. It was lovely to reunite them and ensure that Finlay was safe and not hurt.”

Deborah said: “Finlay is a cheeky little chap and he’s often getting into trouble but I was really worried when he disappeared and I found him stuck in the sewage treatment gully. I had no idea how I’d be able to get him out so I called the RSPCA for help and they were wonderful.

“I’m so grateful to them for helping my lad and he’s now back home – and smelling like roses – again!”

The RSPCA advises owners never put themselves in dangerous positions in order to rescue their pets but, instead, contact the charity’s emergency hotline (daily 7am-10pm) for advice and help: 0300 1234 999.