Missing dog survives 45 days trapped on Dorset beach

Shadow before and after getting lost Image copyright Whiting family/RSPCA
Image caption Shadow was thin and dehydrated after his six-week ordeal

A lost and injured dog spent 45 days trapped on a beach after falling from a cliff in Dorset.

Shadow, an 18-month-old sharpei, was feared dead or stolen after slipping his harness on a clifftop walk near Eype in Dorset on 9 May.

He was found emaciated and with a broken leg by holidaymakers on Sunday.

He has since undergone surgery to remove stones, sticks and dried seaweed from his stomach that he apparently ate in a bid to survive.

The dog has since been reunited with his family but will need more operations to reset his leg, thought to have been broken when he fell from the 547ft-high cliff.

'Lost and alone'

Owner Amber Whiting said: "I've not stopped crying since he returned, I can't believe he's back with us.

"When my husband first saw him he didn't think it was him, despite the microchip details, as he looked so different. He was always quite a chunky dog so it's shocking to see him so thin.

The Whiting family, from Bridport, searched all night for their pet, aided by coastguards and friends.

"We have three sons and he means everything to them - we were all heartbroken," Mrs Whiting said.

"He's such a soft and gentle dog, I cried myself sick thinking about him lost and alone."

Image copyright Whiting family
Image caption Shadow was described as "quite a chunky dog" prior to his ordeal

Mrs Whiting warned her children that Shadow may have been adversely affected by his ordeal but was shocked to see him wagging his tail and "wobbling towards us for strokes and kisses".

RSPCA inspector Ken Snook, who rescued Shadow, described the dog's reaction as "amazing" and said it "proves beyond doubt the bond between dogs and their owners".

A GoFundMe page set up by a family friend to raise money for vet bills has raised more than £2,000 in three days.

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