Heroes rescue hounds

Picture: DEBBIE AXE

CONCERNED residents, the Ndlambe fire department and the SPCA joined forces to rescue three stray dogs stranded precariously on a ledge at the krantz braai area last Saturday.

The dogs had apparently got into their tight spot after two males pursued a female which was on heat.

Debbie Axe told TotT she noticed something was arousing concern in the krantz braai area when she drove past at about 12.45pm and saw three men looking and pointing up at a ledge.

She stopped and saw the dogs, one of them teetering on the edge.

“I first phoned [Ndlambe environmental officer] Willem Nel and then the fire department,” Axe said.

She said within a few minutes SPCA inspector Anel Slabbert showed up as someone else had called the SPCA.

TotT reporter Lebogang Tlou also made an appeal on Facebook about the dogs’ predicament when he was walking past.

“The fire department arrived and assessed the situation. They realised they needed the truck with a longer ladder so they went and came back with that,” Axe said.

One of the dogs became anxious and somehow clawed its way to the bush and managed to get away

She said as the firefighters were setting up the ladder one of the dogs, which looked like a tan Ridgeback, became anxious and somehow clawed its way to the bush and managed to get away.

“I think it got petrified.”

Meanwhile, the three men who had initially been looking at the ledge and hailing passersby, climbed up through the bush to head off the other two dogs from attempting to leap and perhaps injure themselves, Axe said.

Picture: DEBBIE AXE

The SPCA also related the story on their Facebook page.

Slabbert went up the ladder to catch and secure the dogs, with the plan being that once they were secure, they would be handed over to a fireman who would carry the dogs down the ladder.

“This all sounded quick and easy but reaching the dogs from the top of the ladder was another challenge. The dogs were further back and vegetation obstructed easy access to the dogs and lastly safe footing space was also an issue,” the SPCA post said.

“The first dog was easy to catch and was back safely on the ground in no time. The second dog [the female] was incredibly scared and it was obvious that she was not used to humans. This made things a lot more difficult and dangerous as the inspector was not sure if the dog would try and get away and fall to her death or attack and bite out of fear.”

There were failed attempts to restrain the dog before Slabbert grabbed it by the scruff of the neck, risking being bitten. A fireman helped restrain it while Slabbert muzzled it.

Both dogs were taken to the SPCA for safekeeping.

Picture: DEBBIE AXE

Axe said the rescue effort took about two hours. “It wasn’t easy, I have great respect for them all. The fire department was amazing.”

The SPCA also thanked everyone who called for help, assisted with the rescue or gave advice and moral support.

Another resident, Claire Musson, commented under the SPCA Facebook post that the dogs were part of a pack of about six strays that sleep near the old hospital.

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