Wiltshire

Puppy believed stuck in rabbit hole for two weeks comes home

Simba Image copyright Stephen Arnott
Image caption Simba the cavapoo is now recovering from his two-week ordeal

A puppy thought to have fallen down a rabbit hole two weeks ago has come home.

Simba the cavapoo vanished on a walk near Marlborough, Wiltshire, on 9 June.

After a two-week search involving the fire service, underground cameras, a blood hound and a psychic failed, his owners were convinced the dog had died.

Owner Stephen Arnott said: "I'd even bought a plaque saying 'RIP Simba' so when he suddenly reappeared we could not believe it - we were overjoyed."

Mr Arnott said they had been walking near their home in Aldbourne in a field with "hundreds and hundreds of rabbit holes", and the tiny dog was with them "one second and gone the next".

"There are so many rabbit holes, we didn't know which hole he could have gone in," he said.

"We looked in every hole, it was torture not knowing exactly which hole he must have fallen down."

After four days of searching and with "no idea where he was", Mr Arnott and his wife Kathy asked a a psychic to help.

"She originally sent us on a bit of a wild goose chase but eventually, she said he's stuck down a hole within 120 steps of the front door," he said.

He said cameras were put down every hole, terriers and a bloodhound were called in and the fire service spent a day searching rabbit holes "but with no luck".

'Emaciated and weak'

"We'd given up, he was only a baby, we really didn't think he'd be able to survive down a hole for so long," he said.

"On Monday, I sealed up all the holes dug in the search because they were unsafe, thinking I was burying our little dog,"

But the following morning, a "thin, emaciated and weak" Simba suddenly reappeared at the house.

"We could not believe it, it was truly a miracle. He was dishevelled and dirty and he'd lost nearly half of his body weight," he said.

"He'd obviously lost so much weight he could wiggle out of the hole but he's tough we named him well - 'Simba the Lion'."

Vet Lynne Gaskarth from Drove Veterinary Hospital said it was "incredible" that Simba "survived so long underground without access to food and water".

She said he had been "severely dehydrated" and had lost a quarter of his body weight.

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