A dog owner spoke of his joy yesterday after his beloved pet was rescued by a JCB digger — just hours after firefighters said there was nothing they could do.
Jack Russell terrier Murphy had become stuck in a badger sett after the “rascal” shot off after a rabbit during a walk.
The fire brigade were called out, but Murphy’s owners George and Julia Young were left devastated when they said there was nothing they could do to help.
George, 59, became increasingly worried about Murphy’s condition as he had no food or water.
So he drafted in drain repair company Dyno-Rod to bring an underground camera to see where in the sett, near Blebo Craigs, Fife, Murphy was stuck.
Other terrier owners even sent their dogs down the hole to find Murphy and once he was located, local Billy Carswell brought in his JCB to dig the mischievous mutt out from the hole under supervision from police officers.
George, who runs St Andrews Pottery, paid tribute to everyone who helped with the rescue and vowed to keep Murphy on a lead from now on.
He said: “He’s away to the vet for a check-up. He looks absolutely fine.
“All the local people helped out and did awfully well. People were offering cups of tea and offering to dig holes.
“Murphy’s been in this badger sett before, two times. He was in another sett for three days a few years ago.
“He’ll certainly be on a lead from now on. He’s a bit of a rascal.”
Julia, 65, admitted she thought she would never see Murphy again after he became trapped.
She said: “When we heard him barking he sounded so lively, but you think how long can a wee dog go without anything to drink?
“We have hardly slept. On a freezing cold nights we sat out until three, four or five in the morning.
“It was so cold outside, but underground it would have been warmer.”
Jack Russell terriers are used in fox hunting where they will locate the prey, but not attack it.
It is in their instincts to go down rabbit holes and badger setts, but there were no badgers in the sett that Murphy was stuck in.