Firefighters home in on dog's heartbeat during rabbit warren rescue
22 August 2018, 12:35 | Updated: 22 August 2018, 12:36
A dog which spent four hours stuck underground in a rabbit warren was rescued by firefighters who listened for his heartbeat.
Rescuers utilised the life detector listening equipment they use to find people in collapsed buildings to pinpoint where the dog was after he disappeared in a field.
They dug down and found the pet, named Bear, who was in good health but "bewildered" after his ordeal on Monday afternoon.
The Chorkie - a cross between a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier - was reunited with his owner after some cuddles with the firefighters who rescued him from a field in Linlithgow, West Lothian.
Watch manager Alan Roy said: "This was certainly one of our most unusual callouts.
"The crew initially tried to find the dog by digging into the field without success - but we were determined not to give up on this brave little animal.
"The life detector listening equipment is used in urban search and rescue situations where we try to locate people in collapsed buildings.
"Using a series of sequences, we were able to pinpoint the approximate location of Bear, who was stuck down one of the rabbit warrens.
"We dug down and were able to retrieve the dog, who appeared a bit bewildered but in good health. It was crucial we acted as quick as possible so the animal didn't injure itself.
"He was hydrated with water after his ordeal and after some cuddles from the crew and his owner, he looked set to go chasing the rabbits again."
It is not the first time firefighters have helped with an unusual incident involving animals.
They supported RZSS Edinburgh Zoo vets during a dental procedure involving Bertus the greater one horned Indian rhino in November 2016.
They drew on their skills in searching collapsed buildings to safely manoeuvre the two tonne animal safely into the correct position for the operation.
In the same year, they used their rope and water rescue skills to save a horse that was stuck in two feet of mud at the bottom of a slope.